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Author Notes: Although Lemon Verbena is an herb not commonly found at your local grocer's, it is easy to grown and thrives in humid climates. Lemon Verbena has a distinct, floral scent that lends itself to desserts. Serve this ice cream with amaretti cookies or eat it by itself. —clementinebakes
Serves 4 - 6 people
Lemon Verbena Ice Cream Custard
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- pinches salt
- 2 cups packed lemon verbena leaves, washed and patted dry
- 8 egg yolks
- Mise en Place: Set a medium bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water. Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl. Separate your eggs, putting the yolks in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Whisk the yolks to break them up a little. Save your whites for another use (like macarons!).
- Combine the cream, milk, sugar, salt, and lemon verbena leaves in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the mixture from the heat, then cover the pot and steep for one hour, or until the mixture tastes right to you. Be careful not to over-steep the mixture or it will taste bitter.
- Remove the lemon verbena leaves from the mixture with a slotted spoon and squeeze all the extra liquid out of the leaves (that's where all the goodness is). Return the milk mixture to medium heat until you see tiny bubbles appearing on the edges of the pan.
- Begin whisking your egg yolks. Carefully and ever-so-slowly stream the hot milk into the egg yolks a tablespoon or so at a time, whisking the entire time. Do not add too much milk at once, or the eggs will scramble. As the egg mixture begins to warm up, you can stream more of the milk in.
- Once you have tempered half the milk into the yolk mixture, combine them all in the saucepan. Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and whisking constantly, cook the mixture until it thickens and reaches nappe stage. One way to tell if it is at nappe is to dip in a spoon and run your finger over the back of it. If the line does not fill back in, you've reached nappe.
- Once you reach nappe, pour the custard through the sieve into the ice bath you set up earlier. Stir the mixture until it has cooled down a little. Once the mixture has cooled down, chill the mixture in the fridge for four hours or overnight, until very, very cold.
- Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Once the ice cream is frozen, stir in your chilled lemon curd (below). Use as little or as much as you'd like.
Lemon Curd (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking)
- 3/4 - 1 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg
- 6 egg yolks
- juice of 4 lemons
- Put all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to break up the eggs and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens like custard. If you are unsure, dip your spoon into the custard and run your finger over the back of the spoon. If the line does not fill in, you've reached custard stage.
- Strain the mixture into a small bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap onto the surface of the lemon curd- this will prevent a nasty skin from forming. Chill thoroughly.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Ice Cream