Pimm’s No. 1 Ice Cream Cup — Sundae Sunday {Recipe}

When Di announced that she was going to host a virtual ice cream social, I knew I would contribute this post. The only trouble was, I hadn’t written it yet. And I was planning to write four posts leading up to this one, none of which I had written, either. Nothing like a little motivation to get things done!

So here’s my Sundae Sunday contribution. Thanks to Di for hosting!

A few weeks ago, I decided to try coming up with a few curd recipes — first lemon, then lime. I wanted the citrus curds to use in ice cream — again developing my own recipes for lemon and lime ice creams. 

And all of this was done with one ultimate goal in mind: to make a Pimm’s ice cream recipe. I recently discovered Pimm’s No. 1, thanks in large part to Steve Buscemi and Boardwalk Empire. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the classics.

Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liquor made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. The formula is a well-kept secret. It is reported that only six people in the world know how it’s made. The taste is hard to describe. It’s light, fruity, a little spicy, with a hint of cucumber (yes, cucumber). You definitely don’t have to be a gin drinker to enjoy Pimm’s.

The classic Pimm’s drink, the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, is commonly associated with Wimbledon. As with most classic (i.e., old) cocktail recipes, there are dozens of ways to make a Pimm’s cup. The “official” recipe, from the Pimm’s website, is 1 part Pimm’s No. 1 and 3 parts chilled lemonade, stirred together over ice, and garnished with one or more of mint, cucumber, orange, and strawberry. However, because British lemonade is carbonated and lemonade in the States is not, many recipes call for a 1:2:1 ratio of Pimm’s, lemonade, and lemon-lime soda or seltzer.

As I was enjoying the occasional Pimm’s cup during the recent heatwave,  I realized that the classic Pimm’s  No. 1 Cup would be the perfect platform on which to build a lemon-lime ice cream recipe.

I gathered the ingredients, including homemade lemon curd, lime curd, and Pimm’s syrup, and I was ready to go.

I brought milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, I whisked egg yolks and sugar for about 1 minute, until the went from this…

…to this…

I tempered the eggs with the milk, then cooked the custard until it thickened to the consistency of pudding.

I stirred in the remaining ingredients, chilled the custard base overnight, then froze it in my Kitchen Aid freezer bowl.

I served the ice cream with a little drizzle of Pimm’s syrup. It was exactly as I had envisioned it. The lemon and lime flavors predominated, with the Pimm’s adding a subtle spiciness. It was sweet, but not overly so, and perfectly satisfying as a summery dessert. Even my mom, who never touches alcohol, really enjoyed it.

Pimm’s No. 1 Ice Cream Cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup lime curd
  • zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime, combined
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime, combined
  • 1/2 cup Pimm’s syrup (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until thick and light lemon colored, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour the milk into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, to temper the egg yolks.
  3. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon curd, lime curd, lemon and lime zest, cream, lemon and lime juice, and Pimm’s syrup, in order, mixing well between each addition.
  5. For best results, refrigerate overnight before churning in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Pimm’s Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Pimm’s No. 1

Directions

  1. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Add Pimm’s No. 1, stir, and return to boil.
  3. Boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup in volume.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

The syrup is great on ice cream. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge, and a little goes a long way.

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15 Comments

  1. June 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

    […] Around this time last summer, I discovered Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based liquor made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, herbs, and spices. The formula is a well-kept secret. It is reported that only six people in the world know how it’s made. The taste is hard to describe. It’s light, fruity, a little spicy, with a hint of cucumber (yes, cucumber). You definitely don’t have to be a gin drinker to enjoy Pimm’s. […]

  2. Mike Dunlap said,

    August 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    A great use for curd! Very impressed with the creativity! A special recipe like this deserves accolades! Well done!

    • Gaaarp said,

      August 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks, Mike. Actually, it was less a matter of finding a creative use for curd than figuring out how to incorporate Pimm’s into ice cream.

  3. August 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Brilliant idea! I found your blog through Di’s Sundae Roundup and I love it! Can’t wait to see more!

    • gaaarp said,

      August 2, 2011 at 7:43 am

      Thanks, and welcome!

  4. Elaine said,

    August 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I am so intrigued about Pimm’s No. 1. I have never had it, but certainly must fix that right away! My husband and I religiously watch Wimbledon each year as he is a tennis player and I am a fan of tennis. I am so impressed that you created your own ice cream around this liquor! It looks fabulous!

    • gaaarp said,

      August 1, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Thanks. You should definitely give Pimm’s a try. Then you’ll be ready for Wimbledon!

  5. Kayte said,

    July 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Wonderful photos of all of this. I don’t know…I’m starting to crave a taste of Pimm’s with all this talk about it on Twitter all the time…and the whole ice cream idea makes it sound even better.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      It’s certainly worth a try. Go get yourself a bottle!

  6. nancy/n.o.e. said,

    July 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve not had Pimms, but my husband went to Wimbleton last year in very very warm weather and Pimms hit the spot apparently! I’ve made lemon curd ice cream, and this sounds like an amazing progression from that! First order of business is to get my hands on a bottle of Pimms! And really, it sounds like the alcohol pretty much cooks out of the syrup – might it make sense to put in some straight Pimms for texture?

    • gaaarp said,

      July 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      I don’t know if the alcohol all cooks out or not, but the ice cream stayed soft, even after being frozen for days. Not sure if that was a function of the Pimm’s or citrus curds, or maybe a combination (my lemon curd IC stayed fairly soft, too).

  7. Di said,

    July 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Ooh, perfect for summer! I’ll definitely have to pick up a bottle of Pimm’s so I can try it out. =)

    • gaaarp said,

      July 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      You can sometimes find little bottles of it near the register at the liquor store (at least around here). But it’s good enough that a big bottle is a worthy investment!

  8. Abby said,

    July 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I’m still not entirely sure what Pimm’s No. 1 is, despite reading all of your Tweets about enjoying it, =) but the lemon curd-lime curd ice cream sounds delicious and refreshing! Definitely going on my to-do list.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 24, 2011 at 11:33 am

      Pimm’s is a gin-based beverage. It’s the classic drink at Wimbledon. A Pimm’s No. 1 cup is made with Pimm’s, lemonade, and some kind of soda. And a garnish of cucumber. It’s delicious, refreshing, with just a little bit of a kick.

      I’ll add a picture of a Pimm’s bottle with a link to the post. Thanks for reminding me that not everyone knows what Pimm’s is!


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