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I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Light Lemon Ice Cream


Lemon Ice-cream logo'dframed

While I was writing VANILLA, I discovered that before Thomas Jefferson brought vanilla beans to the United States, the ice cream flavor of the moment was lemon. The idea of lemon ice cream sounded intriguing, but when I looked for recipes, all I could find were lemon sorbet and sherbet. I experimented and came up with a real winner. This recipe is ideal as a light dessert and “palate cleanser.” As it’s also lower in calories than regular ice cream, it avoids the category of “guilty pleasure.”


Light Lemon Ice Cream



11/2 cups warm water

3/41 cup sugar (based on preference for sweet or tangy)

1 pint light cream or half and half

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

grated zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon pure Lemon Extract

1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract


Mix water and sugar together and allow sugar to dissolve. Add the balance of ingredients. The mixture will thicken slightly from the acid/dairy reaction. Don’t worry; the ice cream will taste just fine.

Put ingredients in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the mixture in a freezer. When it is firm, run it through a blender or food processor and either freeze again before serving, or serve it right away.


This ice cream is delicious just after it has finished cranking before it gets real firm. Serve it with fresh berries when they’re in season.

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Patricia Rain
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I was given a small bottle of Rain’s Choice in a gift basket and I have been hooked ever since. The flavor makes all of my baking so much better! I will never use grocery store vanilla again!

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For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see “Why is Vanilla so Expensive?”