Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lemon Balm - Delicious

Fresh Lemon Balm
My lemon balm plant has taken over my herb bed and needed to be strimmed down - it also happened that we had an impromptu BBQ arranged for Mr T's sister who celebrated her birthday...... it was one of these wonderful sunny days in Cork that makes you fall in love with Ireland all over again.

So there I was with lots and lots of lemon balm but what to do...... lucky for me, I had already frozen my ice cream maker so that a sorbet jumped to mind. But since it is a small machine, I knew I wouldn't be using all of the lemon balm.... so what else... it was a hot day and remembering times when coke was a luxury rather than a normal daily drink, I decided to make a wonderful old fashioned lemonade and crikey, was it good. Just imagine, a sunny afternoon, friends and family around, a BBQ on and a refreshing cold glass of lemonade.... I call that a perfect day.

Lemon Balm Sorbet
Lemon Balm Sorbet 

  • 1 liter water
  • a good bunch of lemon balm leaves, cleaned
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 75g caster sugar

Combine all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture infuse. When cooled, strain the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until the sorbet forms. Either serve straight away or freeze for later use.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, simply freeze the mix after cooling down for 2 hours, take it out and mix it up with a fork. Return to freezer for another 2 hours and fork up again. Continue until you have the sorbet as you like it. 

Lemon Balm Lemonade

Homemade Lemonade
  • 3-4 lemons, zest and juice
  • A good handful of lemon balm leaves
  • 100g sugar
  • 200ml boiling water
  • Sparkling water
  • Ice Cubes
  • Small lemon balm leaves for decoration

Peel the zest of the lemons and place in a bowl/pan together with the lemon balm and sugar and pour over the boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon and bruise the leaves to release their oils. Leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the juice of the lemons. Cool completely.

So serve, pour a good measure into a tall glass, top up with sparkling water and ice cubes. Decorate with a small lemon balm leaf.

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