Fruit In Lemon-Verbena Syrup

prep time: 10
cook time: 476


  • 1 1/4 quarts mixed fresh fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, red or white currants (left on stems if desired), pink gooseberries (see cooks' note), blueberries, strawberries, and cherries (pitted or halved if large)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 (6 inch) sprigs fresh lemon verbena
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  •  ,
  • Accompaniment: cassis sorbet


Put fruit in a large bowl and gently toss with 1/2 cup sugar, then let stand 20 minutes.

Rub verbena sprigs in your hands to bruise leaves and stems, then combine with water and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a 2 quarts heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 1 minute, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, 5 minutes.

Stir lemon juice into warm syrup and pour through a medium-mesh sieve over fruit. Discard verbena sprigs and gently stir fruit. Let macerate at room temperature 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Divide among 8 soup plates.

Cooks' Notes:

Do not use black currants or green gooseberries for this recipe, because they are too tart to eat raw.

Fruit can be macerated, covered and chilled, up to 6 hours.