Lemon verbena brings out the flavor of peaches that have been ripened to perfection.
• 1 pound ripe peaches, pitted, peeled, and diced into medium-sized pieces
• 1/2 cup superfine sugar, or more to taste
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves
• 1 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
• Lemon verbena sprigs for garnish
In a small saucepan, bring peaches, sugar, and water to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the peaches are tender and the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and drain peaches, reserving the poaching liquid.
Purée peaches in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Taste and sweeten with some reserved poaching liquid if desired.
Add the lemon verbena leaves to the purée and let stand for 15 minutes.
Then, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and taste; add enough lemon juice to make a sweet-tart mixture.
Pour the mixture into a shallow, freezer-safe pan, and place it in the freezer.
Scrape with a fork to break up ice crystals every half-hour to an hour until it’s fully frozen, about 4 to 6 hours.
Serve in chilled martini glasses or dessert dishes garnished with lemon verbena sprigs.