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Key Lime Ice Cream


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Key Lime Ice Cream

My key lime ice cream is smooth, tangy, and refreshing! You can have it on its own, sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs on top to turn it into key lime pie ice cream, or press it into a pie crust to make a full-on key lime ice cream pie!

I first had key lime ice cream in Colorado after breaking my elbow from falling off a horse on a trail ride (the saddle had not been tightened and I slid right off the horse along with the saddle). For some reason, key lime ice cream was the only thing that could make me forget about my pain at that time and I had it three days in row. I concluded (as any sane person would) that it had magical powers and that I had better learn to make it.

How to Make Key Lime Ice Cream

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker


I make my key lime ice cream in a Cuisinart ice cream maker. While you will see many recipes out there for no-churn key lime ice cream, I’ve never found no-churn ice cream that I’ve enjoyed as much as ice cream that has been churned.

What Does it Mean to Churn Ice Cream?

Churning Ice Cream

As anyone who has made ice knows, when you freeze a liquid, you create ice crystals. Churning is regular stirring of ice cream as it freezes to help to break up ice crystals during the freezing process so that the ice cream ends up smooth and creamy. You can churn by hand, but a machine sure makes life easier!

The Advantages of an Ice Cream Maker with a Compressor

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

I have used many different ice cream makers. We actually own four different ones (#crazyfoodbloggerlife). Most of them work the same way. You freeze the bowl of the ice cream maker overnight, then you remove the bowl from the freezer, pour in the liquid you’ve prepared to make your ice cream, and finally, let the machine churn. If the ice cream maker bowl is not cold enough because it wasn’t far enough back in the freezer, or maybe you left the bowl in the freezer for five hours but not overnight, the ice cream won’t churn properly. Unfortunately, this sad soupy ice cream problem has happened to me more than once and I’ve seen it happen to my friends.

The Cuisinart ICE-100 has a built-in compressor, which means that it freezes as it churns – there is no need to pre-freeze the bowl. This is total game changer!

Also, if you want to make two types of ice cream in the same day, it’s not possible with most ice cream makers unless you have an extra bowl for your ice cream maker which you also froze overnight. With a compressor-style ice cream maker like the ICE-100, you can make several batches of ice cream in the same day – each one having the same quality because you don’t have to worry about whether or not the bowl is frozen enough! Hallelujah!

Making Key Lime Ice Cream with No Eggs

Key Lime Ice Cream

When I make ice cream recipes, I almost always adapt my recipe from Jeni’s ice cream base of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Her method uses no eggs. Instead of the traditional custard, she thickens the ice cream with cream cheese. Once I found her method, I’ve never turned back. The ice cream comes out thick, rich, and smooth every time!

Can You Use Regular Limes Instead of Key Limes?

I couldn’t find key limes or key lime juice at the first grocery store that I went to, so I know that not everyone will be able to find them. If you can’t find key limes near you, you can use a mixture of half lime and half lemon juice to approximate the key lime taste.

The Best Ice Cream Mix-ins for Key Lime Ice Cream

Key Lime Ice Cream

Graham crackers (consider homemade graham crackers) are the obvious mix-in choice for key lime ice cream. But, there is no reason to stop there. Chocolate chips, coconut, dried pineapple, and cherries would also be wonderful choices. See my list of ice cream mix-in ideas for more combinations to try!

Key Lime Ice Cream
5 from 14 votes
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Key Lime Ice Cream

This key lime ice cream is totally refreshing and perfect for summer!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ice cream, key lime
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Freezing Time 1 hour
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk divided
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature, cubed

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk. Set aside.

  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, heavy whipping cream, lime juice, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. 

  3. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Continue to boil for four minutes.

  4. Stir in cornstarch slurry and return to a boil. Boil for two minutes.  

  5. Pour about 1/4 cup of the milk mixture into a bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add the remainder of the milk mixture and whisk to combine.
  6. Pour into the bowl of a Cuisinart ICE-100 and churn for 60 minutes. 

  7. Eat immediately or transfer to a container and place in the freezer if you prefer a harder ice cream.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Jeni's ice cream base of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

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Note: This post was sponsored by Cuisinart, but my love for this ice cream maker is the real deal!

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17 comments on “Key Lime Ice Cream”

  1. am says:

    I love key lime ice cream and I especially love this no egg method! It’s brilliant!

  2. Wilhelmina Wessel says:

    This ice cream looks amazing!

  3. Miriam Kachenko says:

    Thank you for the recipe, it looks delicious.I´ll try it soon

  4. Terry says:

    I have tried to Pin this and keep getting the error message that there is a problem with the URL. Can you help with this?

  5. Teresa says:

    I have tried to Pin this but keep getting the error message that there is a problem with the URL. Can you please look into this a correct so it can be pinned to Pintrest.

  6. Gloria says:

    The thing I love most about homemade ice cream is the combination of flavours you can make. The possibilities are endless…..and homemade tastes so much better too. What a refreshing treat for the HOT summer days.

  7. Lisa says:

    I am right there with you on the churned vs. no churn. There’s nothing better than churning it yourself. I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker with the cylinder that you freeze, but I can definitely see the benefits of this mac-daddy machine. Key Lime happens to be one of my favorite ice cream flavors, too — and since I live in Florida (and have a key lime tree in my back yard) this is happening this weekend! Thank you!

  8. Carmy says:

    I am OBSESSED with key lime pie. Every time summer hits, I’m reaching for the pie. I’m going to have to make the ice cream version at home so it can be in my freezer 24/7! Yum!

  9. I need this ice cream maker! I have been using a regular cusinart for sometime, but its time to upgrade. Key lime ice cream sounds AMAZING and this recipes looks simple. I can’t wait to try it.

  10. michele says:

    So many great tips on ice cream makers! I need to check out the new ones with the compressor…. We love ice cream and that would be a total game changer in being able to make several in one day! Also thanks so much for the tips on using a mixture of lime and lemon juice when I cant find true key limes! Brilliant idea!

  11. Annemarie says:

    I have one of those freezer insert ice cream makers and it’s never been quite as good as I hoped. I may need that cuisinart machine – birthday’s coming up soon. :) And your ice cream looks amazing. Tart and fresh and I love the cream cheese trick. Off to get some key limes and graham crackers…

  12. Patty says:

    Your ice cream looks so smooth and delicious. I agree with you about churning ice creams, they come out much creamier. My freezer is always too full to store the compressor, I’m definitely ordering this Cuisinart churning machine with built-in compressor!

  13. Marisa Franca says:

    I love ice cream. To me, it is the perfect summer dessert. And my favorite summer flavors are clean and fresh like your key lime ice cream. I don’t have an ice cream maker — wish I did. Perhaps if I hint enough I’ll get one.

  14. Dana says:

    This ice cream is great timing! I am currently *obsessed* with key lime. My friends brought a key lime pie to our July 4th cookout a few weeks ago and I’ve been dreaming about it since. This also works out nicely because I haven’t dug out my ice cream maker in ages. Seems like it’s time ;)

  15. Amy Nash says:

    This ice cream sounds absolutely delicious, but more importantly, I NEED THIS ICE CREAM MAKER IN MY LIFE! I have totally had the problems with my freezer bowl that you have mentioned! I would say that I’m going to add this to my christmas list, but I’m thinking I may just have to get it now to enjoy while it’s still summer.

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