Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Yield: approximately

    5 cups

Appears in

Lemon verbena is also known simply as verbena. It is a small, shrublike herb that has become especially popular with chefs in recent years. Its long, slender green leaves are used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes, to make tea, and to add fragrance to sachets. If the lemony flavor is too strong for your liking, it can be decreased either by using a smaller amount of verbena and/or by infusing the leaves for a shorter period. Should you need to use dried lemon verbena, however, you will need to increase the amount in order to obtain a satisfactory result.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (30 g) fresh lemon verbena leaves
  • 1 pint (480 ml) whole milk
  • 1 pint (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 10 egg yolks ( cup/210 ml)
  • 10 ounces (285 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract

Method

  1. Chop the lemon verbena leaves finely. Combine with the milk and heat to scalding. Cover and set aside to infuse for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  2. Strain through a coarse strainer so that some specks of lemon verbena are visible in the milk. Add the heavy cream to the milk mixture. Heat to scalding.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the cream mixture into the egg yolks while whisking rapidly. Heat the mixture over simmering water, stirring—not whipping—constantly with a whip, until it thickens enough to coat a spoon.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled.
  5. Process the custard in an ice cream freezer. Transfer to a chilled container and store, covered, in the freezer.