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Author Notes: Summer, surely no other single word in the English language can instantaneously conjure a more beautiful and serene feeling in all our hearts. I fondly remember the lilac scented parks we peopled as small children, where we created magical worlds from the dirt and grass. That square mile of our neighborhood, never fully discovered nor charted, yet it held our limitless kingdom radiantly colored by the golden sun. I remember my purple stained fingers from picking too many ripe mulberries from the old tree. Summertime was the season to rejoice in it’s sweet abundance of berries and fruits.
This dish was created to recapture that innocent feeling of Summer’s youth, made with rich, creamy home spun lemon verbena ice cream and beautiful berries and cherries we got from the Portland Farmer’s market held every Saturday, March 15 through December 20. Enjoy Summer on a plate! —Francois de Melogue
for the Lemon Verbena Ice Cream base
- 1 quart whole Milk
- 8 sprigs Lemon Verbena
- 1 pint Heavy Cream
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup granulated Sugar
- 12 Egg Yolks
- Bring the milk to a boil, remove from heat, and steep lemon verbena till it releases it's intoxicating aroma, about 20 minutes.
- Heat in a heavy gauged non-reactive 2 quart saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly, making sure you scrape the bottom in every nook and cranny. Keep heating till it thickens slightly.
- Add heavy cream and vanilla and strain.
- Ribbon egg yolks and sugar, then add strained milk.
- Freeze according to your ice cream machine manufacturer's instructions.
- note: if it curdles while cooking simply put in a blender and puree.
for the Macerated Berries and Cherries
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- 1 cup Blueberries
- 1 cup Raspberries or Salmonberries
- Bring the water, sugar and Chinese five spice to a boil.
- Add Cherry halves and cool.
- Add blueberries and raspberries, and let macerate for 30 minutes.
- Put a spoonful of the berries on each plate, top with a scoop of lemon verbena ice cream and enjoy the guilty pleasures.