Luscious and creamy, this dairy free lemon poppyseed ice cream makes a tart, refreshing summer dessert.
Using coconut milk and egg yolks, this ice cream is dairy free, paleo, gluten free, and vegetarian.
Simple lemon ice cream loaded with flavor
This ice cream uses only SEVEN ingredients (including the pinch of sea salt!), but it fully delivers with rich, creamy, tart lemon flavor.
The day I photographed this recipe, I offered some to my housemate. Ten minutes later, the ice cream was gone. It was that good — so refreshing on a hot summer day.
So, besides the obvious ingredients, what do you need to make lemon poppyseed ice cream?
My favorite dairy free ice creams start with a solid base of egg yolks, full fat coconut milk, sweetener (I usually use honey), and sea salt.
Beyond that base, you just need lemon juice, a touch of lemon zest, and poppyseeds!
How to make incredible dairy free ice cream
As mentioned above, truly rich, luscious ice cream starts with a base of egg yolks, full fat coconut milk, sweetener, and sea salt.
I know, you're probably thinking the egg yolks are going to make this complicated. But I urge you to give it a try. Without them, it's insanely hard to get super creamy, thick ice cream without ice crystals mucking up your day.
To make this lemon poppyseed ice cream, you'll start off by tempering the eggs. It's the same kind of process used in custard recipes like Dairy Free Banana Custard or Creamy Coffee Chocolate Custard!
The only real difference from those recipes is that after tempering the eggs, you simply add the remaining ingredients and make the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
So I guess, if you really wanted to, you could skip the ice cream maker and just make lemon poppyseed custard. I might have to try that!
Do I need an ice cream maker for this recipe?
For best results, I DO recommend using an ice cream maker. This is the one I have, and it's held up well for 8 years!
There's a reason ice cream makers exist - the constant churn while freezing results in creamy, dreamy ice cream.
That said, if you'd rather not pick one up, you can also pour the custard into a metal loaf pan or square baking pan before chilling. Once it's thoroughly chilled, pop it in the freezer. Take it out and stir every hour for at least 3 hours, until it gets as thick as you'd like.
The results likely won't be AS consistently creamy and luscious, but it's something!
Or, if you've got popsicle molds on hand, you could pour these into the molds and have lemon poppyseed popsicles instead. Worth considering!
More treats to beat the heat
- Sugar Free SunButter Banana Popsicles
- Mango Basil Popsicles
- Fruity Dairy Free Ice Cream Floats
- Chai-Spiced Cold Brew Latte
- Coffee Cashew Ice Cream
- Add coconut milk to a medium pot. Heat the coconut milk over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until hot and steaming but not simmering. There shouldn’t be any bubbles; if there are, reduce heat.
- Separate the egg yolks into a heat-proof bowl and whisk.
- Now it’s time to temper the egg yolks. While stirring the egg yolks constantly, add a few spoonfuls of hot coconut milk. Continue to stir until smooth – there shouldn’t be lumps of cooked egg. Now that the eggs are tempered, slowly add them to the pot, stirring constantly.
- Heat on medium-low, again stirring constantly and never letting the mixture simmer until it thickens, about 6-8 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon and have the consistency of heavy cream.
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Add honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sea salt. Stir until completely combined. Let cool.
- Chill the bowl in the fridge until cold (2+ hours).
- Place the chilled custard in your ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the poppyseeds while the ice cream churns. Pour the churned ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Transfer the container, covered, to the freezer for at least two hours to firm up. When serving, defrost for at least 15 minutes before scooping. It will keep for a little over a week.
- Don't have an ice cream maker? You can make a no churn version by moving the chilled custart to the freezer and stirring every hour for 3 hours.
- I find ice creams work best with coconut milk that contains guar gum. It's not required, but it helps to make a creamy ice cream!
Keywords: lemon poppyseed, lemon, ice cream, dairy free, low carb, paleo