With summer in full swing, I have been on a total ice cream making binge! Thanks to David Lebovitz, my ice cream maker has emerged from the bowels of my cupboards and I've been putting this long neglected appliance to good use. Once we had a taste of home-churned ice cream, we said adios to hagen daz, ben & jerry and breyers and haven't purchased pre-packed ice cream in over a year (okay, cold stone is the only exception...I love those mix-ins!).
I absolutely LOVE lemon verbena, and have often infused the herb into tea or chopped the herb into fruit salad. This ice cream recipe really showcases the heady herbal flavor of the lemon verbena. I've taken the original recipe (which comes courtesy from David Lebovitz) a step further by incorporating some mint.
The perfect accompaniment to this delicious ice cream is a simple fruit salad. In these pictures, the fruit salad is made from nectarines, blueberries, some chopped mint & lemon verbena leaves, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a touch of honey.
Lemon Verbena Ice Cream
adapted from David Lebovitz.com
makes approx 1 quart
1 1/2 cups loosely-packed fresh lemon verbena leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (you can reduce the amount or omit)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1. In a medium saucepan, warm the lemon verbena and mint leaves with the milk,1/2 cup of the cream, and the sugar.
2. Once warm, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for one hour.
3. To make the ice cream custard, pour the remaining cream into a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water, and put a mesh strainer on top.
4. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to skim the lemon verbena from the milk and squeeze the leaves to extract as much liquid as possible back into the saucepan, then discard them. Rewarm the lemon verbena infusion, then whisk the eggs together and slowing pour in the warm infusion, whisking constantly.
5. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan and cook, stirring continuously with a heatproof spatula, until the custard leaves a trail on the spatula when you drag your finger across it. (If using a thermometer, it should read about 175F, or 79C.)
6. Immediately strain the custard into the bowl of cream. Stir until cool.
7. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.