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I have been experimenting with milk again. How can I resist when I am surrounded by such mass bovinity in all of its glory? The dairy possibilities are endless in this kitchen. There is literally milk everywhere, clearly most notably on my brain.

Over the past few years I have performed my fair share of indulgent dairy experiments. I’ve churned butter. Strained farmer cheese. Clouted clotted cream. Creamed curd cheese. Condensed milk and evaporated milk. Dairy-ed fudge. Soured cream. Creamed cheese. Used the remaining buttermilk and whey for various experiments in baking. Hell, I’ve even made bread out of milk.


Strictly speaking, when things get a little stressful; i.e. when the weather makes it difficult to farm, we DIY ice cream.  One of my favourite playwrights’, David Mamet exclaimed, “We must have pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” Well, I agree, but I’d swiftly say the same for ice cream too.

When our ice cream is ready to eat, we quietly share fifteen family minutes together on the farm, scooping spoonful after spoonful of cold creamy glee into our smiling mouths. I suppose the flavour du jour is whatever strikes the fancy of a certain farmer’s mind at that particular time. Triple chocolate-chocolate, cookie dough, chunky monkey, red raspberry ripple, marshmallow cream, rhubarb-n-custard….if we are feeling extremely creative, and if the season is right, we’ll steep some fresh hay into the creamy base too. Just because.

This weekend, we happened to have a bit of extra crème fraîche in the fridge so we decided to make ice cream with it. Crème fraîche ice cream is not new. It’s been done before, but it’s new to my kitchen, to my Magimix, to our time-tested palates.

After getting an email from a friend telling tantalising tales of lemon sea salt ice cream at the beach, I decided to add that to the mix as well. The result is an ultra-creamy, tangy, zesty ice cream with the slightest hint of salt from the sea.


Crème-Fraîche-Lemon-Sea-Salted Ice Cream

200ml whole milk
175g caster sugar
600g full-fat crème fraîche (Glenisk or Glenilen are both fantastic)
Zest 1 lemon
½ tsp vanilla extract
2-3 pinches sea salt (I love Irish Atlantic Sea Salt)

1. Whisk together the milk, sugar, crème fraîche, lemon zest and vanilla over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Set aside to cool completely. Place in fridge overnight.
3. Add in sea salt and churn in an ice-cream machine, following manufacturer’s
instructions, before freezing. Or freeze for 1 hr, then give a good whisk and return to
the freezer for another hour. Repeat 3 or 4 times until it becomes solid.

Slan Abhaile,


{I am away from the farm travelling stateside due to a bereavement this week, so I am sharing this post adapted from my column + recipe recently published in Irish Country Living}

Photos + styling by Imen McDonnell 2013 




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22 Responses to “Crème Fraîche Lemon Sea-Salted Ice Cream”

  1. Sophia says:

    I just stumbled upon this recipe and it sounds so so so delicious – I am all over adding a pinch of sea salt to sweet dishes as it just seems to make the other flavours pop but have yet to add it to anything citrussy. A gelateria close to my flat in Rome makes a lemon curd ice cream which is divine – your ice cream sounds subtler, more elegant and one I would love to try!

  2. I am in love with this ice cream! Your photos are wow!

  3. sarah says:

    This ice cream is so gorgeous. It sounds like the perfect summer day treat.

  4. Niamh says:

    Sounds fabulous! Sorry about your loss – was sad to miss you in Ireland too xx

  5. KathleenC says:

    I am very sorry to hear you have had a loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  6. Ketty says:

    This looks perfect for an Irish summer day like today. You’re lucky to have fresh milk all the time, I have to send Mr. FFID to the shop when we run out of milk hehe 😉

  7. yum!! that looks so amazing! would never have thought to put lemon and salt together! i have those ikea tea towels too, hehe xx

  8. Kathryn says:

    This sounds just lovely – the idea of a touch of sea salt with the tartness of the lemon and the creme fraiche sounds like a revelation.

  9. Caítríona says:

    I love the idea of lemon & sea salt. I think I’m going to have to invest in an ice cream machine this summer.
    Sorry to hear of your loss. Sending love & light your way. x

  10. Cathy says:

    What a fabulous sounding recipe…. when I return home I hope to make it.
    Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

  11. Krista says:

    How absolutely wonderful! 🙂 This sounds so sprightly and fresh and springy. 🙂 I haven’t made ice cream in ages, but you’ve inspired me. I’m going to look for an ice cream maker in town tomorrow. 🙂

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