Skinny Pear and Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase through my Amazon link, I will receive a small commission which is used to offset the expense of this blog.  Thanks for supporting me!

I am a hoarder collector of small kitchen gadgets.  So much so, that a few years ago when we added a small addition to our home, I turned part of the space into a pantry/appliance and gadget storage room.  I didn’t want a closet.  I wanted a pretty room with glass cabinets and pull-out shelves and lots of area to display my “toys”.  It’s become my favorite room in the house. 🙂

My newest addition to my gadget room is my  ice cream maker.  I debated about getting one forever, but I’m happy to say, it’s been getting some good use already, despite the never ending cold weather.  My plan was to make healthier ice creams, so how excited do you think I was when the California Milk Advisory Board challenged the Recipe ReDux members to lighten up a favorite recipe using Real California dairy products?



Even though I live in New England, I use quite a few California dairy products. If you check for their seals on dairy products, you’ll find lots of options too, because California is the number one dairy state in the US and their products are sold nationally.  Since I’m not a huge meat eater, I rely on dairy foods as a source of high quality protein in my diet, and I eat drink or eat low fat milk, cheese or yogurt almost every day.  I also love that I get can both my protein and my calcium (as well as several other important nutrients) with three daily servings of real dairy foods.   Check out the Dairy Council of California for information on the health benefits of dairy, and why nondairy substitutes just aren’t the same.

Dairy has its place in dessert too (everything in moderation – right!) and I’m excited to share this recipe for a lightened up, lower fat Pear and Meyer Lemon Ice Cream.

It’s full of healthy fruit and still rich and creamy, but it has less fat that traditional ice cream from a few “secret dairy ingredients”  It has a wonderful tang from California buttermilk, which is naturally low in fat (despite it’s very buttery name, and rich consistency), as well as California cream cheese.  Don’t doubt it until you try it!


Skinny Pear and Meyer Lemon Ice Cream|Craving Something Healthy

Skinny Pear and Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

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Servings: 1 1/2 quarts


  • 4 medium ripe pears peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces OR 2 cups canned pears, drained
  • Juice and zest from 1 Meyer Lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 3 tablespoons California cream cheese softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups California buttermilk 1%
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups California heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan, bring pears, lemon juice and zest, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla seeds and vanilla pod to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until pears are soft and most of the liquid is reduced. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove vanilla pod and discard.
  • While fruit is cooling mix together cream cheese and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Mix cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk to make a paste and set aside.
  • Puree pear mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Pour cream and buttermilk into a medium saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Add pear-lemon mixture and continue to simmer on low for 4-5 minutes. Add cornstarch paste and stir well to combine and return to a simmer to let mixture thicken slightly.
  • Remove from heat and whisk the cream cheese and salt into the hot liquid. Add vanilla. Set aside to cool.
  • When mixture is cool enough to handle, pour into a ziploc bag and place the bag in a large bowl of ice to cool down to room temperature (about 30 minutes). You can also cool the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  • When pear-cream is cool, pour into an ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container.


Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!


Did you know Real California Milk supports more than 1,500 dairy farmers?

Eat well!


  1. I got an ice cream maker that attaches to my Kitchen Aid for Christmas…this will be perfect! What a wonderful, different flavor combo and beautiful pics!

  2. buttermilk + meyer lemons…two of my favorite ingredients! rolled into ice cream…heavenly! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. So glad you purchased that gadget! (: I LOVE my ice cream maker too and this looks amazing. Love pears!

    1. Thanks Serena! I’m having a little bit too much fun with it. Might be rolling into summer a few pounds heavier 🙂

  4. I don’t have a ice cream maker and has been considering whether I should purchase one.
    I decided to get it after look at your post! 🙂
    I like the idea to put cream cheese in to ice cream. Super yum!

    1. Smart move Maggie! Thanks for visiting 🙂

  5. Anne,
    You are so creative! You’ve got three ingredients here that I’ve never heard of in ice cream and they sound like they’d taste very good; buttermilk, pears and cream cheese. Great idea!

    1. Thanks Mireya! I loved the sweet-tart-and tangy flavors 🙂

  6. We have no room in our kitchen for any more gadgets! An ice cream machine woul dbe perfect!

    1. There’s always room for one more! 🙂

    1. You should definitely try it! It’s so easy and nice to create your own flavors. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    1. I love them too! I have to move somewhere warm so I can grow them in my yard!

      1. I say that all the time too – someday I’ll live where I can have a Meyer lemon tree, avocado tree and olive tree in my yard – ha!

  7. Ha, your my kinda gal, collector of small kitchen gadgets! Yes, I too have an ice cream maker and love it. Love also your fruit flavored healthified ice cream!

    1. Thanks! Glad you like the recipe. And yes, if I had a kitchen gadget yard sale, I could probably pay for a semester of college 🙂 Priorities!

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