Perfect creamy lemon gelato, who could say no?
This gelato is made with a pre-cooked custard base that creates a finished product with great texture and mouthfeel. Is it actually gelato? No, but you know it’s not a bad substitute.
You will need an ice cream maker with a gelato setting for this one. You could try to hand churn it, but it will be difficult to recreate the right texture.
This gelato is sugar-free, low carb, and keto. It’s also naturally gluten-free. All kinds of fun in the sun with this recipe. Only 2.9 net carbs per serving too!
Since this dessert is cold with a pop of bright fresh lemon it’s the perfect dessert to finish off a spicy meal or even a summer BBQ!
A soft lemon flavored gelato, perfect for a keto diet
This gelato has a soft lemon flavor. It’s not super tart and it’s not bland by any stretch. It rests somewhere between having a gentle mellow lemon flavor that blends beautifully with the fresh cream.
My husband thought it had a slight floral flavor, and that was pretty accurate. The lemon flavour is there, but is dulled down nicely by the cream and creates wonderfully soft flavor notes.
A little bit about the lemons
Fresh organic lemons here would be best. Since we are using the rind, organic is the way to go.
Bottled lemon juice will not suffice here. It’s too bold, too bitter, too punchy, and creates a lemon flavour that simply pales in comparison to the real thing.
Don’t skip the lemon rind here either. The lemon rind adds all those natural citrus oils to the custard and that’s the bulk of our flavoring.
Make sure you avoid the white pith when grating the lemon rind. We just want that thin outer layer and none of the bitter inside white. The more pith you get with your lemon rind, the more bitterness you add to the finished product.
Lemons are one of my favorite flavors, so I bake with them quite frequently and always have a bowl of them in my kitchen. I have a recipe for a creamy lemon tart that my husband I both love. It’s a heavy rotation recipe, so I always keep fresh lemons on hand just in case the lemon tart craving kicks in (it often does).
A little bit about the custard base
This is a pre-cooked custard base and it is what makes this creamy lemon gelato so good. The custard creates a very smooth finished product that is worthy of a second serving.
You will need to cook this custard base over a double boiler on medium-low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Cooking the custard base too fast will scramble the eggs, so low and slow with that heat.
A Note about the Sugar Substitutes
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Use your favorite 1:1 sugar substitute.
Powered is preferred over granular, as it blends better and has a nicer texture. Erythritol and xylitol also tend to get grainy when cold, but I found the powdered versions to do it much less especially in ice cream or gelato recipes.
If you don’t have powdered erythritol or xylitol and only have granular, go ahead and give it a blast with a high-speed blender, or food processor. My favorite powdered sweetener by far is So Nourished Monk Fruit Blend, I find it has almost no aftertaste at all.
Swerve and stevia will work perfectly fine here as well as does any powdered erythritol or xylitol.
Just remember, xylitol is poisonous to dogs and cats, so if that’s your choice and you have little furry friends running around, it can be deadly to them.
Serving and Storage Tips
If you put your creamy lemon gelato in the freezer to eat another day, you will need to let it rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before digging in. As this gelato has no stabilizers or alcohol it freezes rock solid!
It becomes scoopable after sitting out, but it does take a bit of time to get there.
I like to make my gelato (or even ice cream) a bit in advance and set it in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up even more. At that state, it’s scoopable and slightly hard.
Directly out of the gelato maker it is still a bit too soft for my liking and that’s why I like to give it an additional 30 minutes in a cold freezer.
This will store in the freezer for up to 4 weeks too, so you can make it in advance.
Looking for More Frozen Low Carb Goodness?
I have a great recipe for a flakey chocolate ice cream that is as much fun to make as it is to eat.
I also have a few frozen desserts on sticks, like these raspberry ripple ice cream bars, and these wonderfully toasted coconut popsicles. Both of them are great low carb options.
Creamy Lemon Gelato Perfect for a Hot Summer Day (Low Carb & Sugar-Free)
A wonderfully creamy lemon gelato made without the sugar or the carbs of traditional gelato recipes.
- 2 cups heavy cream divided
- 3 lemons zested
- 3/4 cup powdered erythritol
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- In a saucepan combine 1 cup of heavy cream, unsweetened almond milk, lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. Heat to a low simmer.
- Add the zest of the remaining two lemons and the powdered erythritol in the bowl of a food processor and process until well blended.
- Add the eggs, egg yolks and lemon zested sugar into a bowl and whisk or blend with mixed until light and pale in colour.
- Slowly blend in the warmed heavy cream and almond milk into the eggs until well mixed.
- Pour mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium-low until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 4-5 minutes). Do not allow it to boil or it will separate.
- Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.
- Once the mixture cools add in the last cup of heavy cream. Whisk until blended.
- Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Strain mixture, and pour into an ice cream maker and turn on gelato setting. No gelato setting? Use the ice cream setting, I won't tell anyone if you don't.
Save any left over lemon juice and egg whites by freezing them for later recipes.
Sugar alcohols have been removed from the carb calculation in the nutritional data below.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 230mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 3.1gFiber: .2gSugar: 2.2gProtein: 4.3g