This ice cream showcases the subtle herbal flavour of lemon verbena which has additional notes of ginger in addition to lemon. As it may be hard to source lemon verbena, I have included an alternative using lemon zest. This is a good, but different, ice-cream.
- 4 egg yolks
- 85 g caster sugar
- 425 ml double cream
- 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves (or the grated zest of one unwaxed lemon)
- Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
- Put the cream and chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves (or grated lemon zest) in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
- Remove the saucepan containing the cream and lemon verbena (or grated lemon zest) from the heat. At this stage you can strain the cream to remove all the pieces of lemon verbena leaf (or grated lemon zest). I generally don’t strain the chopped herbs out as I like them distributed through the ice-cream but I know some people prefer a totally smooth ice-cream with just the flavour. If you are going to leave the pieces in the ice-cream, you need to make sure that the leaves are very finely chopped – no one wants huge fragments of leaf in their pudding!
- Pour the infused cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
- Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
- The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is). Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
- Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
- When you are ready to make the ice cream, transfer to your ice cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen. Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
Although the preparation time and cook time totals 20 minutes you will need to allow additional time for the ice cream mixture to become completely cold before you freeze it.
You can make this ice cream either using lemon verbena or the zest of a lemon. Both will taste lemony (and very good!) but the taste will be different – a subtle soft herbal lemon flavour with hints of ginger – if you are using lemon verbena. If you can get hold of it, it is really worth a try!
Keywords: lemon, lemon verbena, ice cream, lemon verbena ice cream, lemon verbena ice-cream