Lemon Verbena Granita with Limoncello and Vanilla Cream
Meyer lemons are tender-skinned lemons with less acid and a floral perfume. You can substitute thicker-skinned Eureka lemons in this recipe—just reduce the zest by half and cut back one tablespoon of lemon juice. Grating the zest of Meyer lemons works best with a super-sharp citrus zester.
Equal amounts of dried lemon verbena leaves can be substituted for fresh
lemon verbena leaves.
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup whole fresh lemon verbena leaves
• 1 teaspoon finely shredded Meyer lemon peel
• 2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh lemon verbena leaves
• 3/4 cup whipping cream
• 3 tablespoons limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
In medium saucepan combine water, sugar, 1/4 cup lemon verbena leaves, and lemon peel. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and syrup comes to boil. Remove from heat; cool completely. Strain through fine mesh sieve; discard lemon verbena leaves. Stir lemon juice and minced lemon verbena into syrup. Pour the granita mixture into 2- to 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Cover; freeze 3 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or until frozen. (Granita can be made 4 days ahead.)
In small mixing bowl beat whipping cream with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add limoncello and vanilla. Beat just until combined.
Using a fork, scrape granita into light crystals. Spoon granita into glasses and top with spoonful of cream; serve. Makes 6 servings.