Make Ahead

Buttermilk & Lime Soft Ice Cream

August 19, 2010
3 Ratings
Photo by lapadia
  • Makes 1 quart
Author Notes

One very hot day, these were ingredients I had on hand; so, inspired by all the ice cream recipes I have ever read, this is the recipe I concocted. The touch of tequila combined with the lime juice adds a hint of flavor, reminiscent of sipping Margaritas on hot summer day!

Note: I once read somewhere (?) that cultured dairy such as yogurt or buttermilk will yield a softer ice cream; this ice cream’s consistency is on the soft side, and always holds together beautifully.

Update 2015: When I originally posted this recipe, five years ago, I used an ice cream maker, since then my method, for this recipe, has been modified - to making ice cream by hand.


What You'll Need
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whip cream
  • 1 C chilled 3.5% (preferred) buttermilk (but low fat is ok)
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice - plus zest from 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon silver tequila
  1. INSTRUCTIONS for making ice cream w/o an ice cream maker:
  2. Freeze a freezer-safe bowl or loaf pan - stainless steel works well for this if you have one.
  3. Combine the buttermilk, sugar, lime and tequila in a bowl that has been placed over an ice bath, let sit until needed.
  4. Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, and then fold into the buttermilk mixture until incorporated.
  5. Place the incorporated mixture into your frozen bowl or pan.
  6. Chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes, as the edges start to freeze, stir the mixture with a spatula to break up the partially frozen ice cream. Return to the freezer.
  7. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes until it is firmly frozen - as frozen as a soft ice cream will get; it may take 5-6 times.
  8. Store the ice cream in a covered freezer container until ready to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Helen Garey
    Helen Garey
  • Sophia Henkel
    Sophia Henkel
  • drbabs
  • Sagegreen
  • SallyCan

10 Reviews

Helen G. July 14, 2015
While it tastes good, what I ended up with was a semi-frozen slush. That may be because of the juice content or the lack of thickening in the process, but either way, the recipe should have mentioned how much lime juice to use (two different limes may yield quite different amounts of juice). Disappointed...
lapadia July 14, 2015
Hi Helen, Boo-Hoo :( sorry my recipe did not work out for you. Hmmm, I’ve made this (not lately but several times) w/o the problem you experienced. Generally one medium lime = about 2 tablespoons juice…but I don’t recall what size limes I normally buy. That said, I definitely appreciate your feedback and have tweaked the ingredient list. Look forward to hearing back should you give it another try.
Sophia H. July 5, 2013
Yeah! I was looking for a buttermilk ice cream recipe. We just bought an ice cream maker attachment for the kitchen aid. I will be making this ether as is or with the lemons from my garden. Thank it looks delicious.
lapadia July 6, 2013
Hi Sophia! Happy you will be trying out this recipe and congrats on purchasing the ice cream attachment! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Lemons from your garden...lucky you!
drbabs August 20, 2010
You and I are on mind meld again! I have an over-ripe cantaloupe in the refrigerator and I just put the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer so I could make sorbet tonight. Yum!
lapadia August 20, 2010
Cantaloupe = Yum. I am going to make your cucumber-mint recipe (finally) as soon as our cucumber are ready...they are getting real close!
Sagegreen August 19, 2010
This is beautiful! I can't wait to try this. Next week my ice cream attachment should arrive!! So I look forward to learning how to use it. I love buttermilk and lime.
lapadia August 19, 2010
Yeah to the attchment that is on its way! Have fun making ice cream and looking forward to hearing how this recipe went for you!
SallyCan August 19, 2010
I've made buttermilk ice cream that just wanted to be sweet, but didn't have the smarts to pair it with lime, which plays off the tangy flavor, I'm sure. And the vodka is brilliant! I've got some buttermilk in my fridge just waiting to be used, and this is what will happen to it!
lapadia August 19, 2010
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do...let me know!