Savoriesnsweets’ Blog

Kitchen Experiment: Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Posted on: September 8, 2009

The air is shifting here in NYC.  The crisp fall air is coming in and unfortunately, that means saying good-by to all the lovely and delicious fruit, herbs and other produce that is always a part of spring & summer.  A few weeks ago, I found a lovely garden shop that had lots of great plants and herbs for sale and I picked up some lavender, chocolate mint and lemon verbena.  I spent a few days in a restaurant kitchen and the chef there (who pretty much made everything delicious) made a great lemon verbena ice cream.  It was my first time ever having lemon verbena so at first I thought it was really sharp and a bit harsh.  But it was also really refreshing.  So I decided I should try it again only this time I made my own.

Here’s my take on lemon verbena ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 8 oz sugar (by weight)
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves.  (I pretty much used my entire plant!)

1.  Put the milk, cream and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil.  Once this is boiling add the lemon verbena leaves and steep for at least one hour.

2.  Re-warm the milk mixture.  Once warmed through, add some of the hot mixture to your yolks and whisk vigorously.

3.  Once you have added a good portion of the milk mixture to the eggs, pour the entire thing back into the pot.  Continue cooking until you have reached nappe or 180F.

4.  Strain using a fine mesh strainer into a bowl set over an ice bath.

5.  Once cool, freeze and set according to your ice cream maker’s directions.

(I think next time I’ll add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor more.)

Next up, chocolate mint ice cream and lavender ice cream.

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