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Recipe for :

Lemon Verbena Cream with Lemon Syrup

This recipe has been published with the kind permission of Alex Mackay who, among other things, runs Le Baou D'Infer cookery school. Alex is the former director of the cookery school at Raymond Blanc's world famous Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. He has also worked in the kitchens of three two-star Michelin restaurants in France, making him as informed about French cuisine as he is fluent in the language.

For part of the year Alex runs Le Baou D'Infer, a cookery school with a difference. Located in the heart of the breathtaking Provençal countryside, yet just twenty minutes from St Tropez, the school is in the grounds of a working vineyard, steeped in the dappled light and the fragrance of herbs which make this area of France so unforgettable. The great thing is that anyone can enrol for a week with Alex.

Le Baou D'Infer is a unique cookery school, in particular because of its intimate class sizes. There is a maximum of six students per course, which means that you will have Alex Mackay's undivided attention, whatever your culinary questions or requirements. Personal encouragement and Alex's total involvement are assured for every guest, which means you get the ultimate enjoyment and a sense of confidence and achievement from your time there.


500 ml Milk
140 g Sugar
6 free range Egg yolks
A large bunch of Lemon Verbena finely sliced

For the Lemon Syrup:
2 tbs
60g Sugar
Zest of 2 Lemons, juice of 1 and the segments of the other


  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas mark 4
  • Mix the milk and the sugar together in a sauce pan then bring to the boil.
  • Add the sliced lemon verbena and allow to cool .
  • Mix this with the egg yolks then strain through your finest sieve .
  • Prepare a bain marie making sure that the dish you use is high enough that the water is able to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the moulds.
  • Place a piece of kitchen paper along the bottom of this so that the moulds won't slip then pour the mixture into them .
  • Cover the bain marie with a Piece of tin foil then place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to 150 °C / 300 °F / Gas mark 2 and remove the foil, allow to cook for a further 15 minutes then transfer to a container of cold water to cool.
  • Reserve once cold, (well cling filmed), until needed .

The Lemon Syrup:

  • Boil together the lemon zest and juice with the water and sugar, when this takes on a syrupy consistency.
  • Remove it from the heat and add the lemon segments .
  • Reserve until needed.
  • To serve simply spoon the syrup over the tops of the creams


  • When you go to remove the creams at the end of the half hour they should be still relatively sloppy in the centre, this gives you a much softer creamier texture once the cream has cooled and also a less accentuated taste of egg.
  • If you are unable to find lemon verbena you could replace it with lemon balm.

Serves 4

Alex Mackay