Meyer Lemon and Peppercorn Italian Ice

Readers email me about a lot of different things… cooking questions, substitution ideas for recipes, to tell me funny stories about their children or dogs, but the most common messages ask for healthy dessert ideas.


Is there really such a thing? It’s sort of a oxymoron, don’t you think? Like a FRIENDLY ARGUMENT or JUMBO SHRIMP; Healthy Dessert sounds like a CLEARLY MISUNDERSTOOD concept.

When I think of dessert, I think of excess, decadence, fat, carbs, sugar. I think of rich chocolate and silky cream. “Healthy” is not on the radar when I ponder dessert. So like an HONORABLE SINNER, I rebelled against this concept for some time, but have now decided to give it some consideration.

Friends longing for healthy desserts don’t want to ruin the party for everyone else. The GREATER MINORITY simply want to treat themselves without being burdened by guilt. Although I rarely have guilt after eating something sweet, I can appreciate that train of thought. If I put this in terms of shoes it makes total sense… If I give in and buy the sassy, over-priced, red heels–remorse is sure to follow!

So this one’s for you, healthy dessert eaters. You deserve a chance to indulge while staying MASSIVELY THIN. *smile*

I’ve combined Meyer Lemons and Black Peppercorns for a delightful Italian Ice. Sound strange? Meyer lemons are less acidic than regular lemons and have a slight floral essence. This, paired with a touch of peppery heat in the back of your throat, makes a tantalizing treat.

Plus~It’s Healthy!

Black pepper is thought to help with digestion, provide powerful antioxidants, and even break down fat cells!

On top of being a great source of vitamin C, lemons also aid digestion and are know to “cure” all sorts of ailments including canker sores, eczema and reduce fevers.

(What’s a little white processed sugar in comparison to all these benefits?)

If that weren’t enough to close the sale, this is perhaps the easiest recipe ever. If you can use a zester and boil water, you can make Italian Ice. Although you could put this in your ice cream maker to speed up the freeze time, no special equipment is required. You are 6 ingredients away from a light, yet blissful, reward.

If you can’t find Meyer Lemons, substitute regular lemons. Either way, it’s TERRIBLY GOOD!


Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes active time

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Meyer Lemon and Peppercorn Italian Ice


3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 ½ Tb. lemon zest
¾ cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed (6-8 lemons)
1 Tb. freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt


Boil 3 cups of water and add the sugar to the pan. Stir until the sugar in completely dissolved and remove from heat.

Add the Meyer lemon zest and juice, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.

Pour into small 4-6 serving cups and freeze.

When ready to serve, place on the counter for 10 minutes to soften. (You could also pour it into one larger container to freeze. Then shave it with a spoon into serve dishing later.)

Looking for more healthy dessert ideas? Try these…

Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Mexican Chile Pops

Strawberry Basil Ice

These gorgeous mugs came from Villeroy & Boch. Check out their Flow Line!

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60 Responses to “Meyer Lemon and Peppercorn Italian Ice”

  1. #
    Kelsey, from Happyolks — April 4, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    This sounds so intriguing! YUM! I feel like this recipe totally lives up to your name, a spicy “perspective” on italian ice. :) P.s… I LOVE those little cups, where did you get them!?


  2. #

    81 degrees right now. I’m ready for some lemon Italian ice. Bring it on!


  3. #
    Jason Phelps — April 4, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    I love this combination of of citrus and pepper. I am now figuring out when I can make it.



  4. #
    Megan — April 4, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    My husband would absolutely love this, he loves a little kick to everything he eats. I would never have thought of adding lemon and peppercorns for a dessert. Awesome!



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