Get Out the Ice Cream Maker

by Sue Doeden
Print Email

lemon_verbena_frozen_custard_009.jpgWe've got a few ice cream machines in our house. Two of them we've had for years. They're identical with their big plastic tub that holds a can with a paddle inside of it, with plenty of room between the can and the sides of the tub to pack in lots of ice and salt.

And then there is the Cuisinart machine with its ice cream can insert that needs to be frozen before you can make ice cream. I have two inserts. I store both in the freezer so they are ready to go whenever I have a sudden urge for something sweet and frozen.

I use my old machines for making ice cream, preferring the creamy consistency that results. I use the Cuisinart machine for making sorbet.

Earlier this week I plucked leaves from my lemon verbena plant out in my garden. It was the first time I was using the bright, fresh lemon-scented leaves. For the last couple of years I had searched local nurseries for lemon verbena plants and always came out empty-handed until this spring. There are so many ways I want to use lemon verbena and I am so excited to finally have a plant of my own. I'm told it is a perennial, and if it comes back each year, it becomes a nice shrub. We'll see if it can survive a cold Minnesota winter. I hope so.

lemon_verbena_frozen_custard_011.jpgI decided my first experiment with lemon verbena would be in frozen custard. And, just in the nick of time to celebrate national dairy month. Today is the last day.

I steeped some chopped lemon verbena leaves in hot milk and cream one evening. While the liquid was being infused with the intoxicating fragrance, I prepared my favorite lemon curd recipe, using a little less butter than normal. After straining verbena leaves from the liquid, I mixed it with the lemon curd and refrigerated the mixture overnight.

Yesterday evening, I got the old ice cream maker set up out on the deck. As the custard churned, I rinsed, pitted and halved some fresh cherries to serve over the ice cream.

It was cool last night, but we invited the neighbors over and sat around the campfire eating Lemon Verbena Frozen Custard topped with sweet cherries. The best.

I'll keep you posted as I do more experimenting with lemon verbena.

If you don't have an ice cream machine and you live in the Twin Cities you have at least a couple of places to go for a  frozen custard treat that someone else has prepared. I've been to Adele's Frozen Custard, a small shop in Excelsior that makes small batches of premium frozen custard. It's great.

tc_vacation_051.jpgOn my last visit to the Twin Cities, I discovered Liberty Frozen Custard. It's another small shop in an old renovated gas station in Minneapolis. I couldn' t just drive by. I stopped for some very creamy, rich frozen custard. Yum.

Lemon Verbena Custard has just a whisper of tart lemon flavor, not one bit overpowering. It is simply lovely with all the fresh berries of summer, complementing their sweet flavor rather than diminishing. Fresh cherries are another delicious match for this frozen custard.

Lemon Verbena, I love you. You were so worth waiting for.

If you don't have an ice cream machine, go get one. Hurry.

Lemon Verbena Frozen Custard

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup lemon verbena leaves, rinsed, dried and chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks

Bring the milk, cream, chopped verbena leaves and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

While mixture is steeping, whisk eggs with superfine sugar in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan until light. Add grated zest and lemon juice. Whisk briskly by hand over medium-low heat, adding small chunks of butter, one at a time, making sure the butter is melted before each addition. When mixture just begins to bubble, it will be thickened, similar to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat.

Pour the steeped mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl, pressing on the lemon verbena to extract all the flavorful oils. Discard the lemon verbena.

Gradually pour the milk-cream mixture into the lemon mixture, whisking to blend and incorporate completely before adding more. When all liquid has been blended with lemon mixture, allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled.

Freeze the mixture according to the instructions for your ice cream maker. Makes about 1 quart.

 

Sue Doeden is a popular cooking instructor, food writer and integrative nutrition health coach. She is the host of Good Food, Good Life 365 on Lakeland Public Television. Her own hives full of hardworking bees and her love of honey led to the creation of her recently published cookbook, Homemade with Honey.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

Brasserie Lipp
Paris
by Brenda Athanus

ImageBrasserie Lipp is a magical place to me that has maintained its integrity for well over 131 years. Not much has changed with the decor, food or with the waitstaff since I was a small child. There...

Read more...
Game on at the Deer Lodge in Ojai
Southern California
by Bruce Cormicle

deer_lodge2.jpg You ordered Grilled Ostrich last night? Venison medallions in cherry sauce? Roast duck breast that tasted like the best gelato you ever had? Killer game splattered everywhere - into all soups...

Read more...
Breakfast, Portland-Style
Oregon
by Lisa Dinsmore

countrycatsignWhen all of our friend's heard we were heading to Portland, they immediately began giving us advice about where we just HAD to eat. No matter how many times I reiterated the fact that this was a...

Read more...
Morels in the Grove
Los Angeles
by Carolan Nathan

morelsoutside.jpgIt seems everywhere we look nowadays, our eyes light upon a charming French style eaterie, usually simple as that is the underpinning of any bistro of repute. I, for one, am glad of this trend...

Read more...