Browsing through a cookbook last summer, I stumbled upon a recipe for lemon verbena ice cream and it’s been occupying my thoughts ever since. It was my intention to try the recipe, but I couldn’t find fresh verbena leaves. In desperation I bought a plant instead. It was small and puny, so I planted it in my garden hoping by summer’s end it would grow large enough to yield a nice harvest for my ice cream. That never happened. But as the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait” and sure enough this August my plant had doubled in size. At long last, I could make ice cream and it was as light and lemony and wonderful as I imagined it would be. If you have access to a lemon verbena plant, do give this a try. You will need an ice cream maker. I adapted the recipe slightly by adding a raspberry swirl.I’m hoping my plant will survive another season, grow tall, and allow me to make several batches of ice cream all summer long.
|Lemon Verbena Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream||
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup cream
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup packed fresh lemon verbena leaves (1 oz)
- 12 large egg yolks
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, cream, 1 cup of sugar, and the lemon verbena leaves.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Remove the milk mixture from the heat and add a little to the egg yolks, whisking constantly to keep them from curdling.
- Pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk, whisking constantly as you pour.
- Return the custard to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.(see note)
- Remove from heat and pour it into a bowl.
- Cool completely.
- Strain the custard, then chill until very cold, at least 4 hours.
- Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Raspberry Puree:
- oz. fresh raspberries
- T. sugar or to taste
- Combine the raspberries and the sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently until much of the liquid has evaporated. Be careful not to burn it.
- Remove from heat, cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer and chill.
- Add by spoonfuls to the ice cream as you are transfering it from the ice cream maker to the storage container.
- Use a knife to (the ice cream will still be soft enough) and swirl the puree through the ice cream.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours but best overnight.
If the mixture should look curdled, you probably added the hot milk to the egg mixture too quickly. But don’t panic. It can still be saved. Pour the mixture a little at a time into a blender and process until smooth. It will be fine!