Lemon Italian Ice

This recipe comes after Tom and I hosted a party for friends of ours that were visiting after moving away. Some light snacks were in order for this summer afternoon, but with one of the guests of honor being gluten and dairy-free, I decided a refreshing Italian ice would fit the bill perfectly. Recipes range with the amount of sugar and lemon juice, but I modified this recipe to fit both my taste buds and level of difficulty. The balance of sweetness and tartness are perfect in this summery treat.

Ingredients (to serve 10-12):

  • Frozen ice cream bowl (if using an ice cream maker)
  • 2 cups of water (preferably filtered)
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 4-5 lemons, juiced (just over a half cup)
  • 1/2 cup reconstituted lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp. lemon zest

First, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved (after simmering for 1-2 minutes), remove from the heat.

During this time, zest and juice the lemons (make sure to wash them first!). While zesting, make sure to only take the top layer (5-6 swipes across the grating). I always juice my lemons into a measuring cup, then pour the juice through a sieve to remove any pulp/seeds.

Add the fresh and reconstituted juice, along with the zest, into the sugary water. Transfer into a bowl and place into the fridge to chill, about 2 hours. If you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer for about 45 minutes.

Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker and let it to the hard work for about 45 minutes. The Italian ice will be a little slushy at this point, but another hour in the freezer and it will be perfectly set and delicious!

If you do not want to use an ice cream maker, put the mixture into a 13x9 glass pan (with lid) and stir every 30 minutes with a fork. I did not try it this way, but the internet says it should yield equally delicious results. :-)

Raspberry Italian Ice

Another alternative is to use fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, etc) to make an Italian ice. 

Ingredients (to serve 6-8):

  • Frozen ice cream bowl (if using an ice cream maker)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water (preferably filtered)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh berries
  • 2-4 tsp. reconstituted lemon juice

First, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved (after simmering for 1-2 minutes), remove from the heat.

Puree the berries and filter out the seeds (a fine mesh colander works well). Mix the berries and lemon juice (to taste) into the sugar water and let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Follow the directions above to make the ice - and enjoy!