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Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Frozen Lemon Silk

Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Frozen Lemon Silk
Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Frozen Lemon Silk
Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

When it comes to frozen desserts you have your various ice creams, sorbets, yogurts and custards. All of them are very good and in most cases, rather refreshing. During the Edwardian era and the time of the abbey's, these frozen concoctions were often served but when the dinner guests were members of royalty or people to impress, it had to be something a little more special. It had to be something memorable. Since dessert was the ending to a fantastic meal, it also had to be something to cleanse the palate. Nothing cleanses the palate more than natural citric acid (lemon juice) and nothing ends a memorable dinner quite like the richness of Frozen Lemon Silk.

This is a very simple frozen dessert to make, albeit does take a little time. If you can make a French style ice cream or frozen custard, you will have no problem making this dessert. All you need to have is an ice cream machine (preferably electric, unless you have a neighborhood full of kids who will hand churn it for you).

For more on the food of Downton Abbey, visit the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey!

Ingredients needed to make Frozen Lemon Silk:

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the half-and-half, cream, sugar, salt and lemon juice until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Do not let it come to a boil!
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
  3. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks (this is called temping the eggs).
  4. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and chill at least 1 hour.
  6. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine, along with the lemon zest, and churn 30 minutes.
  7. Place into the freezer until ready to scoop and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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