Lemon and poppy seeds seem like a combo that was made for mother's day. Don't you think? The perfect combination of tangy and sweet, surprisingly crunchy. Like moms. They're sweet, and sometimes they're a bit sour and tart…but only when you make them that way. You gotta treat your mother right, friends. Listen to Mr. T. He knows how to treat a mom. Also, that Mr. T video, it happens to be the most amazing video ever made. It includes back-up singing/ dancing moms. And Mr. T rapping. So, Happy Mother's Day… here's the gift that keeps on giving.
Another good mother's day gift is lemon poppy seed ice cream. Moms love homemade ice cream. And I should know, I'm a cat mom to a fur child, and I wish that my little beast would make me some ice cream this weekend. Or at least scoop her own litter box just once. Biscuit really needs to start pulling her weight around here. Since I know she'll probably show her appreciation some other way, like meow-yelling in my face at 4am, I figured I should just make my own mother's day ice cream.
I make a lot of ice cream, but—I'm a bit embarrassed to say this—this was the first time I made an egg yolk custard base. I usually go eggless, because I usually want homemade ice cream like, right now, not tomorrow. And now I'm kind of upset that I tried it. Because I don't know if I can go back. Holy hell, that's some creamy, rich, amazing ice cream. Damnit. And it was actually really easy, too, as long as you're not afraid of a little tempering and are wiling to wait while it chills.
This creamy, rich, custardy ice cream is super tart and lemony, thanks to a quick Meyer lemon simple syrup. And the poppy seeds add just the right amount of fun pop to each bite. Oh, and did I mention there's a honey poppyseed swirl in there too? Yep. There is. Creamy, crunchy, sweet, tangy. Holy mother of mom's day. This one is good. Honestly, I think Mr. T would approve.
Meyer Lemon & Honey-Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream
There are a few steps to this, but if you plan ahead, it goes pretty quickly. I made the base and simple syrup the night before, and made the honey poppy seed swirl while the ice cream was churning. Ice cream maker required.
1 recipe sweet cream custard base (below)
1 recipe lemon simple syrup (below)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 recipe honey poppy seed swirl (below)
Freeze custard base according to your ice cream makers' instructions. When you have about 5 minutes left, slowly stream in the lemon syrup, and add the tablespoon of poppy seeds (you may need to stop the freezer for a moment and combine quickly with a spatula). Finish churning, and scoop alternate layers of ice cream and honey poppyseed swirl into an airtight freezer-safe container. Freeze up to two hours in your freezer.
Sweet Cream Custard Base
Adapted from this recipe
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk (1 or 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
In a medium-heavy saucepan, whisk together cream, milk, half of the sugar (1/4 cup), and salt. Heat over medium high, stirring occasionally, until the mixture approaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
While whisking the eggs constantly, slowly add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg bowl. Keep whisking, and repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the eggs. Then, using a heatproof spatula, stir the cream and slowly pour the egg and cream mixture from the bowl into the pan. Congrats, you tempered your eggs!
Continue to cook carefully over medium heat for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and leaves a clear mark when you run your finger across it. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and into a clean container. Set into an ice bath, and stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Lemon Simple Syrup
From this recipe
3 large Meyer lemons
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice lemons and squeeze enough juice to make 1/2 cup. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine lemon juice and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate until chilled.
Honey Poppyseed Swirl
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons honey
Stir together, set aside.