Very slightly adapted from “I Scream Sandwich: Inspired Recipes for the Ultimate Frozen Treat” by Jennie Schacht (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2013)
Makes about 1 quart
2 to 3 Meyer lemons (see notes)
2 cups hulled, halved strawberries (larger ones quartered)
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon course kosher salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup honey
5 teaspoons tapioca starch (see notes)
1 cup buttermilk, full- or low-fat
Zest one of the lemons. Use a vegetable peeler to cut a thick piece of peel (yellow part only), about 1-by-3 inches, from another lemon. Juice the lemons, plus a third if necessary, to yield 5 tablespoons. Set the peel and juice aside separately.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the zest, strawberries, and 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are tender and the mixture is reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a potato masher to turn the mixture into a chunky jam. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
While the strawberry mixture is cooling, in another medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and heat until the mixture is just beginning to bubble at the edges. Remove from the heat, add the lemon peel, and set aside to steep for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the honey and tapioca. Remove the lemon peel from the cream mixture, then stir in about 1/2 cup of the mixture into the honey mixture, stirring until smooth. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and bring barely to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to stir, keeping the mixture at barely a simmer, until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk and the remaining 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Taste the milk mixture and add more salt if you like. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions, stirring in the strawberry mixture at the end.
NOTES If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can get pretty close to their flavor by substituting half standard lemon and half mandarin orange. You can also simply substitute standard lemons.
Tapioca starch is also called tapioca flour. Look for it in the natural or health food section at your supermarket, where they have alternative flours and grains.