Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Lemon verbena buttermilk ice cream with berry sauce

Jennie Schacht
Photography by
Leo Gong

Seasonal berries and fresh herbs create a refreshing summer treat

This refreshing, citrus-herbal ice cream is made tangy with buttermilk and crème fraîche. Crisp cookies round out the dish.

Makes about 8 servings, or 1 quart


Ice Cream

  • 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 crème fraîche
  • 1/3cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)


  • 1/2 pint (about 1 cup) 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, crème fraîche, 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.

5. Scoop the ice cream into bowls and top with some of the berry sauce. Season to taste: Substitute lemon thyme or lemon balm for the lemon verbena. Alternatively, use a 3-by-1-inch strip of lemon zest.

farmers-market-desserts.jpgExcerpted from Farmers' Market Desserts by Jennie Schacht. Copyright © 2010 by Jennie Schacht. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Read more in Food & Entertaining and Garden to Table

  • Page 1: Recipe and preparation

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