Creamy Lemon Chip Ice Cream

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (4 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon drop candies -- crushed  into fairly fine pieces.

1. Boil the sugar and water together, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes to get a syrup. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

2. Heat the half-and-half just below a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Combine half-and-half, flavored syrup, cream, and egg yolks in the top of a double boiler. Cook, stirring constantly, over but not touching simmering water until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes.

3. Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, then place in the refrigerator freezer for 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed lemon drops. Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer's directions.

Helpful tips: Heating half-and-half above 175F (79C) produces a smoother-textured ice cream - Emulsifiers in egg yolks give the ice cream a smooth, creamy mouth feel - A small amount of salt enhances the flavors of the ingredients - Chilling and "aging" the mixture for 4 hours between 27 and 35F (- 2.8 and 1.7C) enable it to freeze at the proper rate for smooth ice cream and provide better body and texture.