Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Ben Batterbury

True South Dining Room at the Rees Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand

Lemon verbena’s sharp lemon scent makes this ice cream a crisp and refreshing treat for a hot summer evening. Chef Ben Batterbury serves it with his strawberry pavlova with saffron custard.


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed lemon verbena leaves
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar


In a large sauce pan over high heat, bring the milk and cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and add the lemon verbena leaves. Cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes to an hour.

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Bring the milk and cream mixture back to a boil, then slowly stream it into the eggs and sugar, whisking constantly. Transfer the resulting mixture to the sauce pan and cook over low heat while stirring, until it coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain the custard through a fine-meshed sieve. Chill overnight.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.


1 quart