This refreshing, citrus-herbal ice cream is made tangy with buttermilk and creme fraiche. It is also delicious with the raspberry sauce used in Roasted Peach Melba (page 35) or with.
The rhubarb sauce used in Rhubarb, Cream & Blueberry Parfait (page 147) in place of the berry sauce. Crisp cookies round out the dish.
Season to Taste: Substitute lemon thyme or lemon balm for the lemon verbena. Alternatively, use a 3-by-1-inch strip of lemon zest.
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup mild-flavored honey, such as acacia, alfalfa, or clover
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh lemon verbena leaves
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup creme fraiche
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
1/2 pint (about 1 cup) each blackberries
1/2 pint (about 1 cup) blueberries
1/2 pint (about 1 cup) raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. To make the ice cream, stir together the cream, sugar, honey, and salt in a small, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until steam rises from the surface and bubbles begin to form along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon verbena. Set aside to steep for 20 minutes.
2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl, pressing on the leaves to extract as much flavor as possible. Whisk in the buttermilk, creme fraiche, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, several hours, or place in the freezer for about 1 hour.
3. Freeze the ice cream base in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and press a piece of plastic film or waxed paper directly on the surface of the ice cream before covering. Freeze until the desired consistency, about 2 hours or up to 1 week.
4. To make the sauce, gently stir together all the berries and the sugar in a nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is very juicy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, until serving time or up to 3 days.