Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lemon Sorbet in an Ice Cream Freezer

The ice cream freezer was patented on this day (May 30th) in 1848. Now at the time they were hand crank and required elbow crease as well as large amounts of chipped ice, but they did create a great frozen treat.
When my husband was Farm manager and later Site manager for Kline Creek Farm in Winfield, Illinois, every summer we would have an Ice Cream Social where we would hand crank hundreds of gallons of ice cream to serve to visitors. 
courtesy of 1890 farmer on
The volunteers used ice blocks from the previous winter's ice cutting on the lake at the farm. They crushed it and mixed it with rock salt, then packed it around the one-gallon metal containers that held the ingredients. The salt melted the ice while a crank turned the container. As ice melted, more was added until the eggs, cream, sugar and flavoring became ice cream.  It took about one and a half hours to make a gallon of ice cream this way.

When you make icce cream with herbs you generally do soe with a simple syrup rather than eggs and cream, which results in a Sorbet rather than an ice cream.  However, you can still freeze it and enjoy on a hot day using your ice cream freezer.  So selebrate the patenting of the Ice Cream Freezer with this great recipe using my favorite herb! 

Lemon Verbena Sorbet
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped lemon verbena
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine the water, sugar, and lemon verbena in a medium, heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir the pot until the sugar dissolves, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pot to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the herb-syrup to steep while it cools. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. Strain, add the lemon juice, and process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and let firm in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

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