Grapefruit Curd Ice Cream

Grapefruit curd ice cream is smooth and rich with a lovely custard consistency.

Grapefruit Curd Ice Cream ~ Savory Simple

This might just be my new favorite ice cream.  I really love any type of curd- lemon, passionfruit, blood orange… you name it and you’ll probably find it on this site somewhere.  Just after school when I was working my brief stint as a pastry chef, we made lemon curd ice cream one night.  It was as decadent as it sounds- rich and tangy with that custard flavor you only get from a curd.  Much better than a regular lemon ice cream.  I’ve been wanting to make it again ever since.  What I particularly love about this version is that the grapefruit offers a slight bitterness in the background; not something you often taste in ice cream or even a regular curd.  But it works really well here and balances the sweetness.

Don’t use a processed store-bought grapefruit juice to make this.  It won’t taste right.  The only exception can be found in some higher end grocers like Whole Foods.  If the container says something like “100% fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice” you’re probably ok.  Double check the ingredient list to make sure there are no additives or anything from concentrate.  Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way.  The safest bet will always be juicing the grapefruit yourself.

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Grapefruit Curd Ice Cream

Grapefruit curd ice cream is smooth and rich with a lovely custard consistency.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 1/2 cup servings
Calories 449
Author Jennifer Farley


Grapefruit curd:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • optional: 1 drop each of pink and red food coloring

Curd ice cream:

  • 1 1/2 cup grapefruit curd, chilled
  • 1 1/3 cup half & half or 50% heavy cream + 50% whole milk, chilled
  • 5 tablespoons confectioners sugar


To make the curd:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. Whisk the corn starch together with a bit of the grapefruit juice to create a slurry.
  • Whisk the grapefruit juice and slurry into the egg mixture.
  • Add the food coloring if using.
  • Continue to whisk over medium heat until thick, 10-15 minutes. It should be the consistency of pudding. Make sure the whisk hits the bottom of the pot to keep the bottom from burning. This is less likely to happen if you use a heavy bottom saucepan.
  • Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in pieces of the butter.
  • Move the curd to a bowl and allow to chill in the refrigerator. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Store extra curd in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pushed directly against the curd to prevent a skin from forming.

To make the ice cream:

  • Whisk the curd and half and half together until well combined.
  • Sift in one tablespoon of confectioners sugar at a time while whisking.
  • Prepare according to your ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions.


I prefer to make this recipe over 2 days since the curd only takes 15 minutes to prepare but needs time to chill thoroughly. If you prepare the curd the night before, it will only take 25 minutes the next day to finish the ice cream.


Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 181mg | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 17.5% | Vitamin C: 16.6% | Calcium: 8.5% | Iron: 4.2%

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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  • I made this a few nights ago. I didn’t think the curd tasted grapefruit-y enough, so I made the mistake of adding a splash of campari…whew! Very bitter. I actually like the finished product, but it was not a hit at the family get-together. It’s definitely a grown-up ice cream.
    Any suggestions on getting more grapefruit flavor in without increasing bitterness? Maybe juicing an additional grapefruit and boiling down the juice before making the curd? I don’t know how that would affect the flavor. Thanks!

    • Hmm, if it was very bitter I can see why it wasn’t a hit. Did you taste the grapefruit before using it in the curd? What type of grapefruit was it (ruby red, etc)? I’ve made that curd many many times, and it has always had a strong grapefruit flavor. All I can think of is that the grapefruit used might not have had a strong flavor. If that wasn’t the case, I’m genuinely stumped. You can always some additional grapefruit juice to the curd. Try stirring it in at the end, 1-2 teaspoons at a time, until the desired flavor is reached. I’ve never tried reducing grapefruit juice and am not sure if that would enhance the natural bitterness of the fruit.