Sheila's lemon verbena
I found this recipe in one of my favourite cookbooks - The Herbfarm Cookbook, by Jerry Traunfeld - and have kept a lemon verbena plant ever since, babying it through our wicked winters (well, wicked if you're a tender perennial). Mr Traunfeld pairs it with Lavender Shortbread, which is just fine, but you will never get over your first (or second, or third) taste of this sorbet. I kid you not. It's incredible. It will make you want to break into song, even if you are an old songless grouch. And whatever you do, don't be asking if you can use lemon balm instead (it's a very very very poor cousin in this case).
1 cup lemon verbena leaves, packed
1 cup superfine sugar (I have always used plain old white sugar)
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
3 cups cold water
First, put the sugar and lemon verbena in the food processor. Grind grind grind. When the sugar is green, add the lemon juice, then the water, pausing now and then to scrape down the sugar on the sides. Strain well, because this baby is fibrous. Then you have a couple of choices: if you have one of those electric churning ice cream thingies, toss the mixture in and wait til it's ready, if you have nothing vaguely resembling this, toss the mixture into a shallow baking tin and freeze it until it's frozen solid, then toss it back into your food processor. Give it a few whizzes and it should be fine.