Easy (after) dinner recipes: Beer ice cream, frozen lemon yogurt and more!

It’s Friday and we’re already thinking past dinner to dessert. Or just skip the main course completely, because dessert is where there’s the most fun to be had. Most of these dishes require very litte in the way of prep time and ingredients, though a couple do require sufficient chilling time. Cheers!

Beer ice cream: Now you can have your beer and eat it too. The recipe is simple, requiring only four ingredients (beer, sugar, egg yolks and cream). Splurge a little with this one and use a good brew -- quality shows in the finish. The base comes together in about 20 minutes, and is ready as quickly as your ice cream maker can manage.

Or try some frozen lemon yogurt from David Lebovitz. Combining just enough tang and plenty of creamy coldness, it’s the perfect antidote for this summer heat. The base comes together in only 10 minutes, though you’ll need to chill it for an hour before freezing in your ice cream maker. And you’ll have all weekend to enjoy it.


RECIPES: 25 crazy frozen flavors

No ice cream maker? No problem! Try a creamy strawberry gelato. All you need are a few ingredients, a big bowl, a whisk, some ice and rock salt. Oh, and a little elbow grease. You’ll “churn” this yourself, but the gelato comes together quickly.

For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at


Total time: 20 minutes, plus freezing time

Servings: 2 to 4

Note: Adapted from Matt Schreiber, who adapted it from Antoine Westermann at the restaurant Beurheisel in Strasbourg, France.

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup beer

1 cup heavy cream

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they are pale and lemon colored. Bring the beer and the cream to a simmer in a heavy-bottom saucepan, then slowly pour over the sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, whisking frequently, until it thickens.

2. Pour through a strainer into a mixing bowl set over ice and whisk until cool. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Each of 4 servings: 384 calories; 4 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 27 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 292 mg. cholesterol; 25 grams sugar; 34 mg. sodium.

Total time: 10 minutes, plus chilling and freezing time

Servings: Makes 1 quart

Note: (This recipe is from David Lebovitz. Read the original article here.) Greek-style yogurt is available at Trader Joe’s and well-stocked markets. Citric acid is available at some pharmacies, as well as at specialty cooking and baking supply stores; fruit preservatives such as Fruit-Fresh can be substituted and are available in the canning section of well-stocked markets.

3 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style

2 teaspoons chopped lemon zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon agave nectar or mild-flavored honey

1/4 teaspoon citric acid, plus a sprinkle more, if desired

Pinch of salt

1. Puree the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, sugar, nectar or honey, citric acid and salt in a blender until smooth. Taste, and add a sprinkle more citric acid if you want it extra tangy.

2. Chill for one hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Each one-half cup serving: 186 calories; 6 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 9 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 49 mg. sodium.


Total time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time and 11/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons skim milk powder

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided

2 to 3 cups cleaned strawberries (fresh or frozen)

1 1/2 pounds ice

1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the milk base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, milk powder, heavy cream and 1 cup sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. In a blender, combine the cooled milk base with the strawberries and remaining three-fourths cup sugar. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

3. Place the strawberry mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 243 calories; 2 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 49 grams sugar; 48 mg. sodium.


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