Verbena and Apricot Sherbet

Verbena and Apricot Sherbet has a sup-erbly fresh taste with which to end a summer luncheon or supper party. Serve with Langues de Chats.

½ lb. apricots, halved and stoned

8 dried or fresh verbena leaves

16 fl. oz. water

8 oz. sugar

2 oz. gelatine dissolved in

2 table-spoons boiling water

4 fl. oz. double cream

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Set the thermostat of the refrigerator to its coldest setting. Place the apricots, verbena leaves, water and sugar in a large saucepan. Cover and bring the liquid to the boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 7 to 10 minutes or until the apricots are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and set the mixture aside to cool.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to the jar of an electric blender and blend them, on and off, for 30 seconds or until they form a puree. Alternatively, using the back of a wooden spoon, rub them through a strainer into a medium- sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add the apricot syrup and the gelatine mixture to the bowl. Using a wire whisk or rotary beater, whisk the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is well blended. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

When the mixture is cold, spoon it into a cold freezing tray and put it into the frozen food storage compartment of the refrigerator to freeze for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, using a wire whisk or rotary beater, beat the cream until it is thick but not stiff.

Using a metal spoon, fold in the egg whites.

Remove the tray from the refrigerator and scrape the sherbet into a large mixing bowl. Fold in the cream and egg white mixture. Using a wire whisk or a rotary beater, beat the sherbet until it is smooth. Spoon the shebert back into the tray and return the tray to the freezing compart-ment. Freeze for 6 hours or until the sherbet is firm to touch.

Remove the sherbet from the freezing compartment. Spoon the sherbet into individual dishes and serve immediately.

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