Lemon Verbena Cream
My husband and I were out in the Demonstration Garden during the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, and I noticed that the Lemon Verbena in the herb garden is starting to bloom.
Lemon Verbena flowers are very small, and pretty as an accent. They aren’t stunning flowers though. The herb itself has thick, somewhat shiny leaves that are a little bit rough if you rub them between your fingers. It is a perennial that is grown as an annual here, since it is not winter hardy. (You can try to overwinter it indoors, but it doesn’t tolerate low light conditions very well. It is also possible to take cuttings.) It has a strong lemon scent when the leaves are slightly rubbed.
I have a recipe for whipped cream infused with Lemon Verbena that I had been meaning to try for a long time, but never got around to it. On the spur of the moment, we decided to pick a few sprigs to use Saturday night for dinner with family.
I stripped the leaves off the stems and chopped them roughly (into big pieces) – just enough to release the flavor. Then I mixed the leaves with a pint of heavy whipping cream. I let the leaves sit in the cream for about 7-8 hours. Then I strained the leaves out and whipped the cream (with sugar, of course). We ate the whipped cream with frozen berries. It had a faint lemon flavor, which was less than I hoped for. However, the leftover cream that we ate last night had a much stronger flavor. Apparently sitting for another day helped?
Anyway, if you are looking for a simple way to dress up desserts, I highly recommend the Lemon Verbena infusion.