6 servings
15 minutes, plus 3-5 hours chill time prep, 15 minutes, active total
I know that suggesting homemade ice cream for an easy after-work supper makes me sound as if I'm going into deranged superwoman overdrive, but may I put the case for the defense?

All you do to make this is zest and juice some fruit, add confectioners sugar and cream, whisk, and freeze. This requires no stirring or churning and it tastes unlike anything you could buy. So if you've got friends coming over, you can serve this for dessert to amazed admiration without giving yourself anything approaching a hard time. I use my KitchenAid, but a cheap handheld electric mixer would do fine; and frankly, whisking by hand wouldn't kill you.

I first made this with Seville oranges, but since these are available only in January here, it would be unhelpfully restricting to suggest no substitutes for out of season (though you could always freeze the oranges, either whole or just their zest and juice). I won't lie to you and say that my suggested substitutes are quite as magnificent as the original—nothing can provide that biting, aromatic intensity that you get from Seville oranges, which have the taste of orange and the ravaging sourness of lemons—but ordinary eating oranges combined with lime juice provide a glorious, tangy, and fragrant hit of their own.


  • 3 Seville oranges, or 1 eating orange and 2 limes
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Wafers to serve (optional)


If using Seville oranges, grate the zest of 2 of them. Squeeze the juice of all 3 and pour into a bowl with the zest and sugar. If you're going for the sweet orange and lime option, grate the zest of the orange and one of the limes, juice them and add to the sugar as before. Stir to dissolve the sugar and add the heavy cream.

Whip everything until it holds soft peaks, and then turn into a shallow airtight container (of approximately 2 quarts) with a lid. Cover and freeze until firm (from 3 to 5 hours). Remove to ripen for 15-20 minutes (or 30-40 in the refrigerator) before eating. Serve in a bowl, in cones, with wafers—however you like.

Adapted from Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners—Easy, Delectable Recipes for Any Occasion by Nigella Lawson (Hyperion, 2002). Copyright 2002 by Nigella Lawson.