Meyer Lemon Gelato

  • Serves: Makes 1 quart

  • Views: 8731

Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2013 Sarah Phillips

Gelato and photo by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips 
A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, the Meyer lemon has smooth golden skin the color of a fresh egg yolk. It also has a thin edible rind, a high volume of juice, and none of the tartness of a regular lemon. Because Meyer lemons have thin skins, they don't survive shipping well and aren't widely grown by commercial lemon growers. If you can't find them, use regular lemons instead, adding 2 to 4 tablespoons less lemon juice; just know that the recipe will be a bit more tart. This recipe is adapted from Nancy Silverton's "The Mozza Cookbook."

Recipe used with the:
Meyer Lemon Gelato Pie 


I like to use a microplane when zesting citrus fruit; it makes fine zest and avoids the bitter white pith. Learn my technique for how to zest citrus here.

3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups whole or 2% milk, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar , divided
1/4 cup nonfat instant dry milk powder 
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons or lemons
1 1/4 cups strained fresh Meyer lemon juice or 1 cup to 1 1/8 cups fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

NOTE: 24 hours and no later than the night before: Freeze the ice cream maker freezer bowl / canister or prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Make the gelato base:
1. Fill a bowl with ice water and set a smaller bowl inside. Set a fine mesh strainer in the smaller bowl. Set aside.

2. Whisk the cornstarch and 1 cup milk together in  a medium bowl until the cornstarch dissolves.

3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, instant milk powder, corn syrup, salt and remaining 3 cups milk in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over high heat.
Whisk and break up  and dissolve the milk powder and heat the milk until it just begins to bubble.

4. Turn off the heat and gradually add the milk-cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Return the heat to high and bring the milk back to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the gelato base thickens slightly, 4 to 5 minutes.
It will get viscous but will not thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.

5. Pour the gelato base through the strainer into the bowl set over the ice water and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Transfer the base to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least several hours and up to three days.

Add the lemon flavoring and cream:
1. Remove the base from the refrigerator and pour it into a large bowl.

2. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar together in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves.

3. Add the lemon juice mixture and the cream to the bowl with the base and whisk to combine.

4. Pour the base into the bowl of an ice cream or gelato maker and process it according to the machine instructions.

Serve the gelato straight from the maker or use immediately in the Meyer Lemon Gelato Pie.
For longer storage, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer until you’re ready to serve it. Serve the gelato within a few hours of processing it, before it hardens.