Exceeeppppttt for popsicles. We still have a few warm days left, right?
I have been working on these popsicles all summer so know, deep down in your beating heart, that they are worth making. This recipe is actually derived from a sorbet recipe I used to make when I was the pastry chef at Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco like 200 years ago and was in one of those stacks of papers that reemerges when you move. It was a time when I tinkered with herbed-infused fruit desserts. I found many treasures in there so stay tuned.
I don’t often like to create recipes that include ingredients most people can’t buy but lemon verbena is a gardener’s herb, and similar to rhubarb, I feel like if you can’t buy it, there’s a good chance you grow it. If you aren’t familiar, lemon verbena is an herb with tall, slender leaves and an addictive perfume of fresh zested lemon rinds. The leaves themselves aren’t sweet but are perfect for steeping; in water to make tea, or with sugar to make syrup. After steeping the leaves to make syrup (instructions follow below) let them dry, then crumble and add to some granulated sugar for lemon verbena-scented sugar. This, in turn, can be sprinkled on top of cakes or cookies or stirred into drinks.
If you do have some growing in your garden or like me, you have a friend that does these popsicles are a good place to start.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon verbena leaves
- 1 pound blueberries (about 3 1/2 cups)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lemon verbena, remove from heat, cover and let steep until cool. Strain.
- Combine blueberries, syrup, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.