I am such a smart one, aren't I? Edmonton is having a massive heat wave, with temperatures in the mid thirties all week, and I decide that one of the hottest days of the decades is the day I need to photograph my delicious, but incredibly fragile and melty, limoncello creamsicles. Oh, clever me!! Or, better still, what a idiot idea that turned out to be. I got about 2 photos before those creamsicles started turning into a puddle of cream (oh, the cream was pretty delicious) and it was a frantic chuck-them-in-the-freezer... omigosh what am I going to do... CAT! KID! stay away from those, those are alcoholic, they are, oh, misery, what am I to do??
All this drama... while the answer was blindingly obvious, of course. Eat the damn things and sod the pictures :) Oh, and when you're at it, drink all the limoncello as well, you'll need it!
That said, can you think of a more perfect way to beat the heat? Fresh, tangy citrus teamed up with a delicate liqueur, all in a delicious creamy popsicle?
The idea for these creamsicles came when Kathryn was doing an Italian Farmhouse class. She asked me if I had a light ice cream that would taste fresh and light after the class, and of course, I thought of this classic super lemon ice cream from David Lebovitz's book. I've been addicted to this ice cream for years now, but I also wanted to change things up a bit, as some aspects of it weren't quite working for me. The ice cream kept turning slightly powdery (delicious, nonetheless) and obviously some ingredients just weren't the same here. So I worked and reworked it several times, before coming up with this version, which, to be honest, is pretty close to perfect. The alcohol keeps the creamsicles smooth and creamy, while dissolving the sugar and lemon juice prior to blending in the half and half got rid of the powderiness. And of course, you can always freeze this in an ice cream machine, like Kathryn and I did, and serve with a sprinkling of lemon zest and a splash of limoncello.
And how did I stop them melting enough to take some pictures? Well, I cut out some paper towels in the shape of these popsicles, and placed the creamsicles gently over top of them. Solved part of the melting problem, but these pics were still taken in under five minutes :) Sometimes, photography has to take a backseat to more practical considerations like, how do you keep these treats away from sneaky li'l hands? That, I haven't yet figured out!!
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup caster sugar (berry sugar) *increase to ¾ cup if you like your creamsicles sweeter
2 cups half and half (10% cream or 1 cup single cream + 1 cup whole milk)
Pinch of salt
1½ - 2 tablespoons limoncello
Place the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl, and whisk together until the sugar is reasonably well dissolved.
Whisk in the half and half and salt.
Transfer to a blender and blend for 1 minute, until the mixture is lovely, thick and creamy.
Stir in the limoncello.
Pour immediatley* into popsicle moulds and freeze overnight until set completely. Run water over popsicle moulds to release.
* If you leave the mixture in the fridge before pouring it into moulds, it could separate. Give it a good whisk to combine before pouring into moulds or freezing in an ice cream machine.