Peach and Lemon Verbena Sorbet

1 quart

If the peaches are very sweet, add just three-quarters of the syrup to the puree.


  • cup sugar

  • 4 strips lemon zest (each about 2 inches by ½ inch)

  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon verbena

  • 2 ½ pounds ripe yellow peaches, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons vodka or grappa


  1. Put sugar and 1 1/2 cups water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add zest. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add lemon verbena. Cover; let stand 20 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Let syrup cool completely.

  2. Meanwhile, coarsely chop peaches, and place in a large bowl. Crush with your hands or a potato masher, then pass through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard solids (you should have at least 1 1/2 cups puree). Add cooled syrup and vodka or grappa to peach puree; stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours (up to 4 hours).

  3. Freeze peach mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a chilled airtight container; freeze at least 2 hours (up to 2 weeks). Let sorbet stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

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