You are currently viewing Recipe: Meyer Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream
Serve in tiny bowls with cardamom sprinkled on top, or straight out of the pint.

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream

We discovered this recipe for Meyer Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream after coaching a client on how to prune her lemon trees. She sent us home with an abundance of lemons in the midst of hot weather. Naturally one gravitates toward ice cream during a heat wave.

This recipe uses 5 lemons, including the peel and juice. It’s a custard-style ice cream, meaning eggs and a little cooking are involved. However, the delicious result is worth the effort.

Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream Ingredients
Eggs, sugar, Meyer lemons, whipping cream (recipe calls for half-and-half as well), cardamom pods, and vanilla bean (we took the picture with vanilla extract before realizing it called for vanilla bean).

Let’s Make Ice Cream


  • 5 Meyer lemons
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, crushed (use more – see notes)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (we used cream and water)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups whipping cream

First: Remove the peel of one lemon with a vegetable peeler.

Lemon Cardamom ice cream peel
Peel one lemon.

In a saucepan, add the peel, crushed cardamom pods, half-and-half (we used a 1/2 cup cream mixed with water to make 1 cup–it’s what we had on hand), and sugar. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pan, then toss in the pod for good measure. Bring to almost a boil the leave to steep 10-15 minutes.

Next: Grab a mixing bowl and whisk your eggs yolks.

Lemon cardamom ice cream Vanilla eggs zest
Eggs and zest are at the ready. Save the egg whites (upper left) for another dish.
Lemon cardamom ice cream egg mixture
Pour the egg mixture into the warm cream mixture.

Stir a small amount of the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolks while stirring constantly. Then pour the contents of the mixing bowl back into the pan. Heat the mixture gently until it coats the back of a spoon, stirring all the while. This should happen in 4-5 minutes.

The instructions say to strain this mixture before adding the zest, but we didn’t. Just add the zest and cool the whole thing for 10 minutes.

Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream zest
Add zest to custard

Almost there…

Then: Pour in the cream. Mix well. Add the juice of all 5 lemons (about 3/4 cup) to the cream and stir to combine. Put the bowl in the fridge to chill completely.

Freeze that baby!

Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream Finished
This recipe is supposed to yield 1 quart, but ours came out double the size and then some.

Our results were delicious, and more abundant than expected. 4 pints plus another cup or so!

Notes: all that lemon juice and zest really masks the cardamom flavor so don’t be afraid to add more cardamom before freezing. Or just sprinkle some on top when you serve it.

Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream Served
Serve in tiny bowls with cardamom sprinkled on top, or straight out of the pint.

If you still have more lemons after this, make our Lemon Sorbet. It calls for 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice. Freeze lemon juice in this quantity for later use.

Enjoy summer’s sweet harvest, gardenerds!

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