Lemon Italian Ice

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

When the summertime highs hit above 90 degrees on the mercury, what’s better than a nice cool treat that you can make yourself at home? Lately, the southern part of the United States has been hit hard with a heat wave and Italian ice would be so nice during these sunny days. It only takes ten minutes to prep and then five minutes to cook. If made in the morning, you could have Italian Ice by that afternoon. The ingredients list is just three simple items that you might even have at home already. This recipe will be made from scratch so there are a lot more things that need to be done, but you need fewer ingredients.


  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4-5 large juicy organic lemons


  1. Wash the lemons. Ensure there is no wax coating on the outside of the lemons. If there is a wax coating, drop in boiling water for less than a minute and fish the lemon out with a slotted spoon. Do this to all lemons which are coated in wax.
  2. Once the lemons have been washed and do not have wax, take the outside rind and scrape on the smallest holes of a cheese grater. Only scrape off the colored part. Do not zest the white pity part beneath the outside. Do this to all of the lemons or until you get one tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest. Set the zest aside in a small bowl.
  3. Then cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into another bowl. A citrus juicer helps in this process. Juice all of the lemons until you have 3/4 of a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain all pulp and seeds out of this juice.
  4. Now get your One Cup of sugar in a measuring cup and your four cups of water in a separate measuring cup.
  5. Place the water in a 2-quart pan and set the temperature to medium-high. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Allow the water to cool.
  6. Once the water is not boiling, add the lemon zest and juice. Mix well. 
  7. Pour this mixture into a casserole dish or a baking pan and place it in the freezer.
  8. Every 30 minutes stir the mixture. As it begins to freeze you may need to use a fork to scrape it all up. Continue until the entire mixture is crystallized but not frozen solid. This should take approximately 3 hours.
  9. Scoop half a cup into a small bowl and serve cold.


  • Do not use bottled lemon juice or the pithy part of the lemon for this recipe because it will leave the Italian Ice tasting bitter.
  • If the Italian ice becomes too hard, use a large metal spoon or fork to scrape the mixture and break the ice crystals up.
  • This same recipe and technique can be used for other citrus fruits like limes and oranges.
  • To make this for an adult treat add a little bit of liquor along with the juice and lemon zest.


"*" indicates required fields

Do you prefer nuts in your chocolate chip cookies?*
This poll gives you free access to our premium politics newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.