Top | Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts

Lemon-Lime Buttermilk Ice Cream

(recipe, Kim Carlson)

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Although this is technically not an ice cream (there's no cream in it), we're reluctant to call it ice milk, as that's just a little too spartan for the pleasure it provides. We've been making this dessert for years, ever since Oregonian food writer Leslie Cole published an adaptation from Rozanne Gold's book Recipes 1-2-3 (which we've further adapted). Although Gold recommends using superfine Baker's Sugar, we, like Cole, have had good success using regular granulated sugar. We like the combination of lemons and limes, but lemons alone work beautifully, too.


  1. 2 large lemons
  2. 2 large limes
  3. 2 cups granulated sugar
  4. 1 qt. buttermilk
  5. ⅛ tsp. salt


  1. Wash and dry the lemons and limes. Use a Microplane to zest 2 lemons and 1 lime, for a total of 2 tablespoons zest. Juice the zested fruit, plus more as necessary, to get at least ½ cup lemon-lime juice (or as much as ⅔ cup).
  2. Place the sugar in a deep bowl. Add the zest and juice, and stir. Add the buttermilk and salt, and stir to combine, until the sugar is dissolved. Chill the mixture at least 4 hours.
  3. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.