Lemon Verbena and Melon Ice CreamJul 28th, 2013 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Dairy, Dessert, Featured, Fruit, Herbs, Ice Cream/Gelato, Recipes
If not, let me describe it for you: it’s a soft lemony scent that is calming, like mom’s comforting stroke of your fair. The lemon aroma is distinct but mild and there’s a mint element to the scent. It’s warm, inviting and I absolutely adore it as a tea with lemon and honey in the winter or iced tea in the summer.
I’ve made mojitos, used it as a rub for lamb and chicken and today, ice cream. Lemon verbena is a perennial shrub that will last through the winter where the climate is milder. Here in the Toronto area, you best take the plant indoors and bring into your garage where it will go dormant until you bring it back out into the safe Spring air.
Today I’m pairing two main ingredients that are in season in the summer – lemon verbena and ripe, sweet cantaloupe. They are many varieties of melon, some that look more like cantaloupe, others more like honey-dew melons and many hybrids in between. Use what’s ripe, sweet and colourful for tastiest results.
I always dry lemon verbena for the winter and I’ve finely rubbed some leaves to add into the end so that you see the green speckles of this aromatic shrub in this light, creamy ice cream with a hint of decadence. I used my ice cream maker but you could simply freeze this mixture if you don’t have a maker….yet!
Lemon Verbena and Melon Ice Cream
(makes about 16 scoops)
1/2 cups of fresh lemon verbena leaves
1 /2 cup whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
1 can (300ml) of condensed milk (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of puree cantaloupe (or other similar melon)
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Limoncello
2 Tbsp. dry lemon verbena leaves
- To a medium pot add fresh lemon verbena leaves, milk and cream and bring up to scalding over medium heat. Turn off the heat and cover, then allow the leaves to steep for one hour.
- In the meantime, add the condensed milk, vanilla, cantaloupe, salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. After the lemon verbena has steeped in the milk, strain and add to the bowl (discard the leaves). Mix well, cover and place in your fridge to chill for 3-4 hours.
- Pour your ice cream base into your chilled bowl of your ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes. Fifteen minute into churning, finely crush the dry lemon verbena leaves in your hands and add to the ice cream mix along with the Limoncello (alcohol helps keep your ice cream soft).
- Pour the ice cream into a tub and place in your freezer overnight.
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© 2013, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.