Last updated on November 23rd, 2014
I’LL ADMIT that Nigel Slater’s Lemon Ice Cream Tart is a little weird. But trust me — it’s a culinary masterpiece. The “ice cream” is softly-whipped heavy cream, flavored with orange and lemon zest, and fortified with white wine and a splash of brandy. Feeling adventurous? Watch me make this dreamy decadence:
First, grab a 16-oz box of gingersnap cookies.
Then open the box and immediately eat approximately 10 cookies. Why? Because you will need only 14 ounces — or approximately 38 cookies — for this recipe.
Working in two or more batches, dump the cookies into the bowl of a food processor…
And grind them into coarse crumbs.
Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, just pour the cookies into a bag, and smash them to smithereens with a rolling pin.
Next, in a medium sauce pan set over a low flame, melt 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) of unsalted butter.
Add the crumbled cookies to the butter…
And toss the works with a bright red spatula.
Line a 9-inch diameter, removable-bottom tart pan with a cut-out round of wax paper or baking parchment.
Tip the buttered crumbs into the pan…
And press them against the bottom and sides.
Freeze this work of art for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, thoroughly wash the skins of two lemons and one orange…
And then zest their fragrant flesh.
In the bowl of a standing mixer that you’ve outfitted with the “whipping” attachment (or, you can use a large bowl and a hand-held mixer), add each of the following:
The zest of the single orange…
The juice of the lemons (squeeze these through a towel, as above, to filter out seeds)…
A generous tablespoon of good-quality brandy…
5 tablespoons of super-fine sugar (do not use regular granulated sugar)…
At medium speed (number 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer), beat the cream until it becomes thick and voluptuous, but not stiff. In other words, the cream should just hold its shape when scooped up with a blue spatula.
The blue spatula that you are bound to lick when my back is turned.
Scoop the cream onto the frozen crust.
Note: If your tart pan is shallow, like mine, you will probably find that you have too much cream. Go ahead and mound the amount you feel comfortable with, and then do what I did — eat the remainder. It’s devilishly- delicious!
Freeze the tart for at least 4 hours.
If your freezer looks like mine, you’ll have to displace your bottle of vodka in order to accommodate your tart pan.
At serving time, unmold the tart while it is still frozen. Peel away the round of parchment (or wax) paper.
If you wish, sprinkle a little orange zest over the top.
Now cut the tart into serving pieces…
And prepare yourself for a heavenly indulgence.
A snappy crust, a soft, dreamy filling, and a sophisticated taste that no self-respecting foodie can resist– what more can you ask of this ice cream tart? Promise me you’ll try it some day.
For your convenience, here’s a printer-friendly, copy-and-paste version of the above recipe:
Lemon Ice Cream Tart with Gingersnap Crust
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries (Viking; 2005)
Ingredients for at least 8 servings
For the crust:
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
14 oz gingersnap cookies
For the filling:
2/3 cup white wine
2 generous tablespoons brandy
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
grated zest of an orange
5 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Making the crust – Working in two or more batches, coarsely grind the cookies in a food processor. Or, place them in a bag and pound them with a rolling pin. Pour the crumbs into the melted butter, and mix until thoroughly coated. Tip the crumbs into a 9-inch diameter, removable-bottom tart pan, pressing them against the bottom and sides of the pan. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
The filling – Pour the filling-ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixer that you’ve outfitted with the whipping attachment (or use a large bowl and a hand-held mixer). Beat at medium speed until the cream turns voluptuously-thick, but not stiff. Scoop onto the frozen crust, and freeze for at least 4 hours.
Serving – While still frozen, unmold the tart, and peel off the parchment (or wax) paper. Let thaw for about 5 minutes, and then garnish the top, if you wish, with a little orange zest. Then slice the tart into serving pieces.
Think you’ll try this poetic dessert? You can let me know by leaving a comment. As always, I love to hear from you.
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Kelly M says
This recipe looks like a keeper! Thanks.
I do so look forward to your posts. So, to mark our Canadian Thanksgiving I am putting you and your blog on my list of things to be THANKFUL for …… that, and the fact that I actually do have a bottle of vodka in the freezer …… ha ha ha.
Brenda Johnson says
You had me at ginger snap crust! (I love those!) Crispy, buttery and spicy the crust is wonderful on its own! The clouds of soft sumptuous citrus cream that fill it-well- it was a bit of sunshine on a dreary day! This combination of flavors and textures is outstanding! Thanks for sharing Kevin!
Diane H Hinkle says
I love everything about this recipe…………will make no changes and it will be served for Thanksgiving or Christmas……………perhaps both. Thanks~
Uh huh! On my list of things to make the season. And, while, not Canadian, to be grateful for! Thank you Kevin
Arden Brink says
As always with your recipes, this looks wonderful. (I made your cecina yesterday and it was yummy!) Since we’re currently gluten free, I’m wondering if you could *approximate* this by using corn flake crumbs with a bit of raw sugar and a lot of ginger (with the butter, of course) for a crust. Might try it tonight and see! 😉
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Arden – Most supermarkets and health food stores sell gluten-free gingersnap cookies. (To my surprise, even my lousy local market has them!)
Rhonda Strahler says
Sounds divine – a MUST TRY. The major question in my mind, though, is – Just how many different color spatulas do you own?
I dislike ginger snaps. Any suggestions for a substitute?
Arden Brink says
Wow, that’s great news (about the gluten free ginger snaps). We’re just now “learning” about how much GF stuff is out there. Will look today when I shop. Thanks!!
Brenda from Cape Cod says
Love the text on the front of the box of ginger snaps! Made with “real” ginger and molasses! Glad they didn’t use the fake stuff! LOL! But now I have to go out and buy a tart pan so that I can make this. (She says with her mouth watering.)
This sounds simply wonderful, a must try.
WOW! Kevin!! Like all your recipes, this is a must do. . Will definitely do a “quality control test” of this decadently mouth watering recipe this week – yes I know all your recipes are top notch, but c’mon this is a good excuse to make (and devour) one for my own edification. You have answered the question of what to make for Thanksgiving dinner dessert in addition to traditional pumpkin pie.
Now about that cook book – any hints of when? and will you take advance orders or any chance of getting an autographed copy??????
just bought a container of triple ginger ginger snaps. Wonder how your recipe would taste with that….
Arden Brink says
Me again. Well, went to the store and they *did* have GF ginger snaps, but only in the Annie’s brand shaped like little bunnies. The box was small so I would’ve needed two (at almost $4 a box), and somehow I just couldn’t reconcile myself to paying so much for the bunny shape that I was just going to grind to smithereens. So, just in the FYI department for your readers who might be gluten free, I actually *did* make a very serviceable crust with a comparable weight of corn flake crumbs (they DO have malt in them, so maybe/maybe not absolutely GF if you’re actually dealing with celiac disease), the butter, about 2/3 of one of those little bitty containers of ground ginger, some molasses, and a bit of stevia. For the actual lemon “ice cream”, one of my dinner guests commented that he’d “prefer it a little sweeter” but it was delightfully “non-sweet” for my taste and a somewhat “sophisticated” flavor which we enjoyed. I could’ve gone for even a hair more “lemon” so might add a few drops of lemon essential oil next time, and maybe another spoonful or two of sugar for those than want it sweeter. Altogether, though, a grand hit! Thanks as always!!!
Arden Brink says
Oh, I forgot to say, though, that doing the corn-flake-crumb crust meant I missed out on the all-important “eat approximately 10 cookies” part of the instructions! Sadly. In fact, one of my husband’s guilty pleasures has always been ginger snaps and he was so sad the other day when we discovered a bag he’d bought *before* we’d gone gluten free and he watched me pitch them into the trash can. 😉
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Arden – Great story about the gluten-free bunnies! If it’s any help, Amazon carries a large selection of GF gingersnaps. Here’s the link: http://tiny.cc/skwx4w
Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says
Gorgeous, enticing photos.
Adding to my flea market wish list – “tart pan with removable bottom”.
Apparently my kitchen is woefully understocked. I need you to keep me current.
Arden Brink says
Hi, Kevin — Thanks for the link to the GF ginger cookies at Amazon. I think Santa might have to bring some of those to my husband for Christmas! Thx again.
To Gail comment #8: any ‘crushable cookie (fairly uniform crumb)’ can work for the crust- use graham crackers, chocolate cookies ( like oreos without the filling), snickerdoodles, or, my fav, the burnt sugar type like Bastogne or Bordeaux. Just choose something that compliments the pie filling flavor.
pie sounds yummy though I may wait until next summer for a frozen dessert.
Love your fully illustrated recipes. Thanks for the chance to lick the cream from the blue spatula!!! Can’t wait to make this for dessert at my next dinner at daughter’s home (I’m the designated dessert person).
Deanne Lange says
Ginger cookies and lemon and two of my favorites.
I have been substituting sugar substitutes like sugannat sp?
or xylotol but these are not fine ground. I could grind them
in a small grinder if you think that would work. Is the fine
sugar easier to asimilate?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Deanne – Unlike regular granulated sugar, which remains gritty unless cooked, super-fine sugar dissolves instantly. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the sugar substitutes you mentioned. But if they dissolve instantly in liquid (or can be made to do so after grinding), they should be perfectly suitable for this recipe.
No need to buy superfine sugar. Just a couple of pulses and “Bob’s your uncle.”