This tea bread highlights both the flavor and scent of lemon verbena. The sweet, tangy glaze soaks in, enhancing the subtle herb flavor in the bread while adding a bright and inviting aroma. Make a little extra glaze to drizzle over slices of Lemon Verbena Tea Bread just before serving.
Yield: 8 to 10 slices
- ½ cup milk
- 10 lemon verbena leaves (whole)
- ½ cup butter, softened)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar)
- 2 large eggs)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder)
- ½ tsp salt)
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon rind)
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped lemon verbena leaves (about 20 leaves) )
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice)
- 1 cup powdered sugar)
- Lemon verbena leaves for garnishing)
- Combine milk and whole lemon verbena leaves in a small saucepan. Heat on low just until milk is hot and begins to steam (do not boil). Set aside and cool to room temperature.
- Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup, discarding lemon verbena. If needed, add additional milk to measuring cup to equal ½ cup; set aside.
- Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture in 3 installments, alternating with reserved milk. Beat at low speed after each addition, just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lemon rind. Spoon batter into greased and floured 8-x 4-inch loaf pan.
- Bake at 350˚F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Let cook in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Combine chopped verbena leaves and lemon juice in a small bowl. Cover and set aside. After bread has cooled completely, pour herb-lemon juice mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding lemon verbena leaves. Add powdered sugar and stir with a small whisk until smooth, adding additional lemon juice (½ teaspoon at a time) if needed, until desired consistency is reached.
- Spoon glaze over top of bread, letting excess drip down sides. Garnish with lemon verbena leaves and serve with hot coffee or tea.
Featured Ingredient: Lemon Verbena
Lemon verbena offers a sweet lemon flavor that's refreshing in tea and desserts, and useful for seasoning meat dishes and baked goods. The plant is a beauty in the landscape, forming an elegant shrub that can reach 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide. Leaves release their refreshing fragrance each time they're touched, making this herb a good choice for planting near outdoor living areas and walking paths, or for cutting and adding to flower arrangements. Learn how to grow your own lemon verbena.