I don’t know about your kids, but mine love science experiments. They especially love it when my husband or I do it with them. My husband is more often the one to do the science experiments, but I decided that I wanted to try some out with them in the kitchen. And when you combine science experiments with food, my kids are even more in love. I found a book called Simple Kitchen Experiments: Learning Science with Everyday Foods by Muriel Mandell in the junior nonfiction section of the library (call number J 641.3 M312). This is a kid-friendly recipe perfect for the hot days ahead while keeping the learning going during the long summer! First, you do a science experiment and then you use the juice to make these Lemon Ices. Using 2 lemons at room temperature, you roll one lemon with the palm of your hand against a hard surface. You squeeze both lemons and determine which one produces more juice – the rolled lemon or the unrolled lemon. Then you do the following:
Use your lemon juice to make refreshing lemon ices.
Freshly grated lemon peel
¾ cup of lemon juice (1 or 2 lemons)
1 cup of sugar (or less to taste)
4 cups of water
An ice cube tray without separators, or a metal baking pan
Small paper cups
Grate the peel of one lemon into a small plate or jar.
Simmer the water and the sugar uncovered over medium heat about three minutes until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour until it is cold.
Combine the cold sugar syrup, the grated lemon peel and the lemon juice, and pour it into an ice cube tray. Put the tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes – until ice crystals begin to form. Then stir the mixture well and return the tray to the freezer. Keep stirring every 30 minutes until the mixture is frozen through – about 2 to 2 ½ hours.
Spoon it into small paper cups – and lick away!
First of all, I ended up using more like 4 lemons to get ¾ cup of juice so perhaps it depends on the size of your lemons. Make sure to bring the sugar and water mixture to a boil over medium heat and then simmer for 3 minutes. Also, I didn’t have an ice cube tray without separators or a metal baking pan that wouldn’t make a mess in my freezer so I used a gallon-sized ziploc bag and laid it flat in the freezer and it worked great! It was also perfect for letting kids mix it up every ½ hour without making a mess;they just smooshed the bag! It took mine about 2 ½ to 3 hours for it to be the consistency that I wanted.
These are delightful! They have a very lemony flavor so if you want it to be more like lemonade, just omit the grated lemon peel. I liked the lemon peel though because I think it ramped up the flavor. This made enough for 4 adults, more if you are doing small sizes for kids. I even froze my serving completely after the 2 ½ hours and had some the next day. I pulled it out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes before I ate it and the texture was still incredible! I will definitely be making these again on a hot summer day! And you can even make some ahead of time in order to have some on a day when you don’t have time to smoosh or mix every ½ hour for 2 ½ to 3 hours!