The summer days are dwindling away, although the hot, humid summer air seems to be holding on for dear life.
At night, when the setting of the sun offers a few hours of relief from the heat, a lightly sweetened, fragrant dessert offers the perfect conclusion of the day.
A simple water ice always reminds me of my younger summer days, which I enjoyed between catching lightening bugs with my little sister.
Since neighborhood ice cream trucks, as well as lightening bugs, are noticeably absent here in Manhattan, the creation of such water ices are left completely in my hands.
Lemon verbena, an herb whose leaves are scented with the fresh, clean scent of lemon, is a welcome addition to flavor the syrup before it is frozen.
Once the lemon verbena syrup has been brought to a boil, steeped and strained, the resulting liquid is then chilled.
While you clean-up from dinner, hopefully with another glass of wine and with the help of a cute assistant, the syrup can be churning away in your home ice-cream machine.
The delicate, flavorful ice crystals will be ready to offer a refreshing, cleansing end to your meal and day.
Lemon Verbena Water Ice
from Dolcetto Confections | Allison M. Veinote
makes about 1 quart
3 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup lemon verbena leaves, coarsely chopped
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Bring liquid to a boil. Remove from heat and cover.
Allow to steep for about 1 hour. Pour syrup through sieve and into a medium mixing bowl.
Discard lemon verbena leaves.Chill syrup, at least 4 hours.
Freeze in ice-cream machine until no liquid remains, about 15 minutes.