Gelato di Limoncello (Limoncello Gelato)

The perfect ending to the perfect Italian meal is limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur. This gelato variation steps it up and gives you a creamy dessert to boot!

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 9 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2⁄3 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup limoncello
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. lemon juice


  • In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Stir over medium heat. Once simmering, remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 1 hour.
  • If a smooth texture is desired, strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve to remove the lemon zest. (Leave zest in for a tangier lemon flavor.) Reheat the milk mixture over medium-low heat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Once the milk mixture is hot, temper the yolks by adding half of the mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and heat until thickened. Pour 1⁄2 cup of heavy cream into a large mixing bowl over an ice bath. Strain the custard into the cream.
  • Stir together the limoncello, lemon juice, and remaining cream. Stir into the gelato mixture. Refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
  • Add to the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for freezing. Stop the churning as soon as the gelato is just frozen.