Lemon verbena Ice-cream

Lemon verbena Ice-cream

PS Desserts
1.5 litres
Mark Roper


Quantity Ingredient
500ml milk
500ml thickened cream, (35% milk fat)
200g egg yolk, (about 10)
200g caster sugar
lime, finely grated
fresh lemon verbena leaves, (see note)


  1. Place the sugar in a bowl. Use a fine Microplane grater to remove the zest from the lime. Grate the zest directly into the bowl with the sugar to catch all the oils. Don’t apply too much pressure or you will remove some of the bitter pith when all you want is the surface of the skin that contains the oil and fragrance.
  2. Rub the zest into the sugar using the tips of your fingers.
  3. Making the crème anglaise

    Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar into the egg yolk until pale and thick (see notes).
  5. Pour one-third of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. This “tempers” or stabilises the egg yolk. If you add all the hot liquid at once, the yolks could “shock” and curdle.
  6. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly but gently and slowly with a wooden spoon, using a figure-eight movement until the mixture begins to thicken and the bubbles disappear.
  7. The crème anglaise is ready when, if you lift the wooden spoon from the mixture and draw a line with your finger across the back of it, the line remains distinct without liquid running into it for several seconds. If you are unsure, use a thermometer and when the temperature reaches 80ºC, it’s ready.
  8. Place the verbena leaves in a bowl. When the anglaise has reached 80ºC, strain the anglaise over the lemon verbena and leave to infuse for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  9. Strain again, then chill the mixture until ready to churn (see notes)
  10. Churning the ice-cream

    Churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions (see notes). If not serving immediately, store in the freezer. Makes 1.5 litres.


  • Egg yolks “burn” if left in contact with sugar. The burning causes little nodules that are impossible to get rid of and will spoil the result, so don’t be tempted to add the sugar to the yolk until the milk mixture is hot and ready to go. And make sure you whisk them together immediately.

    You can refrigerate the crème anglaise at this stage for up to 3–4 days and churn when you’re ready.

    Always churn ice-cream no more than several hours before you’re ready to serve, if possible. If it becomes too firm, place in the fridge to soften a little just before serving.

    Take care not to over-churn the ice-cream or it will become buttery and spoil the texture.


  • Lemon verbena, often referred to as the “queen” of lemonscented herbs, is a shrub-like tree with leaves that impart a delightful aroma and infuses beautifully. It thrives in summer and I suggest you plant some if you have the space.
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