Limoncello Custard in Lemon Shells is an easy and super light dessert recipe.
This recipe is perfect for those hot summer days when we crave something fresh, but don’t want to weigh ourselves down with desserts that are too rich and caloric.
Not only is it simple and super light, this dessert is also very beautiful to look at. It will decorate and brighten your summer tables with flavor and color.
We will use the lemons themselves as containers to serve this creamy and fresh lemon dessert.
This recipe is completely dairy and egg free. It’s also gluten free as we used rice flour as a thickener.
We used Limoncello liqueur and lemon juice in equal parts to give the dessert an extra lemon flavor.
To make Limoncello Custard in Lemon Shells, you first need beautiful organic lemons, possibly medium to large ones with a thick peel and an intense aroma.
You will make a kind of vegan lemon custard, nice thick and consistent with an extra taste of lemoncello. You’ll fill the peels of half lemons with it, using them like cups.
After a short time in the refrigerator, you will have a delicious dessert, fresh, aromatic and, above all, very light.
Limoncello Custard in Lemon Shells is a guaranteed hit for your summer parties with friends or for a sweet and cool after dinner treat!
How to Make Light Limoncello Custard Served in Lemon Shells
- Prep Time: 10 Min
- Cook Time: 5 Min
- Cooling Time: 2 Hour in the fridge
- Servings: 4
- 2 large organic lemons
- 220 g (~1 cup) of vegetable milk. We used oat milk, but rice milk is also fine.
- 35 g (3 tablespoons) of rice flour or cornstarch
- 50 g (4 tablespoons) of sugar
- 40 ml (3 tablespoons) of lemon juice
- 40 ml (3 tablespoons) of Limoncello. You can make homemade limoncello with our recipe or try this delicious “Amalfitano” limoncello from Amalfi Coast.
Step 1) – Wash and dry the lemons. Then, on a cutting board, cut the lemons in half lengthwise.
Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp. If it does not come off easily, use a sharp knife to cut around the edge. In general, the flesh of thick-skinned lemons comes off easily.
Step 2) – Collect the pulp in a strainer and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Place the strained juice in a small bowl and set aside.
Make 40 ml (~3 tablespoons) of lemon juice. If the juice from 2 lemons is not enough, squeeze another lemon until you get the required quantity.
Step 3) – Set aside the empty lemon rinds. Now make the Limoncello Custard.
Pour the vegetable milk into a saucepan and heat it until it almost comes to a boil.
Add the rice flour a little at a time through a sieve, stirring constantly. The cream will thicken rather quickly.
Keep the heat very low and keep stirring to prevent lumps from forming.
Step 4) – Finally, add the sugar, lemon juice and limoncello. Turn off the heat and stir. The limoncello custard is ready!
Step 5) – The custard should be firm, homogeneous and slightly gelatinous. Let it cool down a bit, then fill the lemon shells with the limoncello cream.
Step 6) – Refrigerate for about two hours before enjoying this fresh, light dessert.
How to Store Limoncello Custard
This cool and light limoncello custard is great freshly made, after letting it set and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
However, if you’re not planning to enjoy this fresh lemon dessert right away, keep in mind that because it’s dairy and egg free, it will keep longer than traditional creams.
In fact, it can be stored in the refrigerator in a glass bowl covered with foil or in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
If you’re not going to use the cream right away, we recommend that you do not store it in lemon rinds, which can make the cream a little bitter after a few hours.
Can I Freeze the Limoncello Custard?
Yes, you can freeze this limoncello and consume it within a month. Of course, take it out of the freezer at least half an hour before enjoying it.
What are the Best Lemons to Use for Making Lemon Shells?
It’s better to use organic, untreated lemons, possibly freshly picked from the plant and therefore rich in flavor and juice.
The best Italian lemons for this dessert are, of course, those from Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast: the famous “Femminello di Santa Teresa” and “Sfusato Amalfitano”. These are the lemons used to make the famous Limoncello liqueur.
If you don’t have Sorrento lemons, don’t worry! Other varieties, such as Eureka or Lisbon, will do just fine.
In addition to excellent quality, it’s important that the lemons have a rough, thick skin and are medium to large in size. That’s because it’s easier to get the pulp out without ruining the skin.
Of course, if you cannot find lemons with the above characteristics, you can squeeze ordinary lemons and use the juice to make the recipe. Then serve the dessert in small bowls or clear glasses. Success is still guaranteed!
Limoncello Custard in Lemon Shells: Some Variations
This dessert is completely free of dairy products and eggs. It’s also gluten-free because we used rice flour. You can also use cornstarch as a thickening agent.
MILK: You can choose any vegetable milk you like. However, we recommend one with as neutral a flavor as possible that does not mask the lemon flavor. Oats and rice work best.
WATER: Many people just use water to make this dessert. You will have an even lighter cream with an almost transparent appearance.
TUMERIC: To color the cream and give it a nice yellow color – usually from the eggs – a pinch of turmeric is often added.
CUPS: For the presentation of the dessert, we have suggested the original bowl made of emptied half lemons. Of course, you can also serve it in small cups or glasses.
DECORATION: You can decorate the cream with lemon zest and some fresh mint or basil leaves.
Classic Vegan Lemon Custard
We used Limoncello to make this cream. This liqueur, typical of southern Italy, gives an unmistakable aroma. Plus, a touch of alcohol adds character to a really light and simple dessert.
If you prefer, or if the dessert is for children, you can omit the limoncello and make the classic vegan lemon custard. Just slightly increase the amount of vegetable milk and lemon juice.
How to Use Limoncello Custard
In addition to serving this dessert on its own as a refreshing dessert or light summer treat, there are other delicious ways to use this fantastic and very light Limoncello Custard.
You can also use it to make many types of desserts by the spoon or by the glass. For example, this cream is perfect for making a light version of limoncello tiramisu.
Or you can serve it alternating with fresh fruit in bowls. For example, you can make a beautiful Berry Trifle with Limoncello Custard.