Lemon verbena sorbet








If life gives you lemon verbena, make sorbet: This is a perfect summer treat, a refreshing citrus sorbet where the emphasis is on the floral lemon verbena while lemon juice & zest provide a citric lift.

Once tried, there might be no going back from lemon verbena. It used to be impossible hard to find though has now reappeared together with other forgotten or neglected heirloom plants, fruits & vegetables that are ‘rediscovered’ daily. The shrub grows easily in a planter on a balcony or terrace and is luckily quite hardy so that ours comes back every spring for this super summer-cooler. Its essential oils are useful as insect repellents, too but I am not sure how many scoops of sorbet are required for that particular benefit. Great justification, if needed.

Quite some sorbet recipes use simple syrup made from equal quantities of sugar & water or even double the amount of sugar to water. For me, a sorbet is refreshingly light and especially a lemon sorbet should be sharp, sour & zesty – you know: lemony. Not a cringingly face-twisting, paint-remover-like acidity but equally not a cloying sweetness that extinguishes that lovely citric freshness. Here a 4:1 water-sugar ration is key and I would not go any higher: What’s good enough for hummingbirds is good enough for me.

Serve as a refreshing pudding (great paired with a yoghurt or sour cream ice) or to frequently cool in this heat wave we are/were experiencing or at dinner as a palate cleanser before the main course.

Deutsches Rezept am Ende….


Lemon verbena sorbet


Lemon verbena sorbet

Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

2 cups water
½ cup caster sugar
2 handfuls lemon verbena leaves (ca. 25g)
2 big lemons, juice & zest

Make the syrup: in a small saucepan, slowly dissolve the sugar in water, then boil for a few minutes (2-3). Tear and twist the lemon verbena leaves with your hands to release some of the aromatic oils or bruise them in a pestle & mortar. Plunge into the warm syrup, add lemon zest & juice, set aside to cool & infuse before moving it to the fridge to chill. Strain the mixture before making the sorbet in an ice cream maker. Alternatively make a granita without a machine: pour the liquid into a flat plastic container, freeze and stir & scrape with a fork ever so often which will result in the gritty snow texture of a granita.


Lemon verbena sorbet



Adaptiert von Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

500ml Wasser
125g Zucker
2 Handvoll Blätter der Zitronenverbene (Zitronenduftstrauch) (ca. 25g)
2 große Zitronen, Saft & geriebene Schale

Den Sirup herstellen: in einer kleinen Kasserolle langsam den Zucker im Wasser auflösen, dann kurz aufkochen (2-3 Minuten). Zitronenverbenenblätter mit den Händen drücken, quetschen und drehen oder im Mörser zerdrücken (damit die ätherischen Öle sich leichter entfalten und den Sirup aromatisieren können) und mit dem Zitronensaft & -schale in die warme Zuckerlösung geben. Abkühlen und durchziehen lassen, dann im Kühlschrank kaltstellen. Die Infusion durch ein Sieb seihen und in der Eismaschine zu Sorbet gefrieren. Alternativ kann man ohne Eismaschine eine Granita machen: die Flüssigkeit in eine flache Plastikdose gießen, einfrieren, währenddessen mehrfach mit einer Gabel umrühren und schließlich zu einem grießigen Schnee aufrauen.



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