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Best ice cream cookbook?

I'm looking for the best cookbook for ice cream, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurt -- what is your favorite and why?

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  1. I like Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and dessert book:

    There are a lot of recipes (no gelato, sorry to say) that are presented in a straightforward way. Nothing too fancy, but nobody's complained about anything I've made.

    1. We have both the Ben and Jerry's and Bruce Weingarten's Ultimate Ice Cream cookbooks. Besides the occasional Cherry Garcia (which we altered!) the Ben and Jerry's gathers dust. The Ultimate Ice Cream book is so used pages are falling out. We LOVE the oatmeal (altered a bit), honey, irish cream, rice, corn, raspberry sorbet, and philly-style strawberry. Any time we have company a new recipe is tried. I don't think there's a single recipe we've tried and disliked. They're all good. The alterations we've made amount to extra vanilla, type of sugar changes (based on flavor), added salt, and slightly different cooking techniques.

      3 Replies
      1. re: odkaty

        I second the Ultimate Ice Cream book, I love it for both sorbet and ice cream - try the green tea ice cream.

        1. re: odkaty

          I agree with odkaty. I think the Ben and Jerry's book isn't worth it. My Ultimate Ice Cream book is well worn. It's good because it provides some basic guidelines for recipe design as well as a large selection of recipes. Some of the recipes don't turn out so well though; the custard base strawberry recipe, for example, does not contain enough sugar and comes out unscoopable for me.

          I haven't read The Perfect Scoop, but it looks like I should go find a copy.

          1. re: odkaty

            The timing of these reviews is excellent because I picked up The Ultimate Ice Cream Book at the library today. One note for those who may go looking for it. The author's last name is Weinstein, not Weingarten.

          2. I've liked all the recipes in the Williams Sonoma book. It's the one with the luscious scoop of strawberry on the cover. There are good detailed directions, some side tips and of course perfect photography.

            1. I hear loads of people going berserk over david lebovitz's "the perfect scoop". it sounds amazing, and i'd love to try it, but i won't invest in an ice-cream maker, because then i'll have to invest in jeans a size larger.


              1. I don't own one, but of all the recipebooks I've had out from the library, my favorite is The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. It just came out this spring, and most of his ice cream recipes are custard based and quite rich. He also has recipes for frozen yogurt, sorbets and lot of mix-ins, sauces, and cookies for making sandwiches etc. I currently have a batch of the strawberry rhubarb sorbet in the freezer. It has a wonderful texure and the right amount of sweetness.

                1. I made a vow to not buy anymore cookbooks but couldn't resist myself when I started reading excerpts from Lebovitz 'Perfect Scoop' book. I have a Kitchen Aid so I just bought the frozen bowl attachment. Have yet to make anything as it all just arrived a few days ago...

                  1. When I bought my ice cream machine (Cuisanart canister-style) I also bought the Ben & Jerry's recipe book, since I love their ice cream. I've made a few of their recipes, but they don't come out like the store-bought flavors, so if I'm craving one of their concoctions, I'll just go buy it.

                    The food blogs have been raving about The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and, at first, I resisted buying it because I was afraid the internet would just rave about it even if the recipes were lame (you know, food blogger celebrity and all). I've made the vanilla base (no egg version), the frozen yogurt (using half the sugar), and his brownie recipe (half of which never made it to ice cream). Egg-based ice creams are always a hit, creamy and rich and flavorful. So, I figured if I liked his no-egg version (the custard version is there, too) the rest of his recipes tweaked from the base must be pretty good. It took great restraint to not eat the entire quart of ice cream as it was churning.

                    The book covers ice cream, sorbets, sherbets, gelatos, granitas, frozen yogurt, recipes for mix-ins (cookies, brownies, eggless cookie dough, candied cherries, candied lemon, etc), and recipes for cookies (for ice cream sandwiches), cones, crepes, and other edible containers.

                    I didn't think I'd succumb to the hype, but this book has me excited. I want to make ice cream before we've even finished the latest batch. It's getting dangerous.

                    1. I have a few ice cream cookbooks and they are all my favorites.

                      If you want to make ice cream in a hurry go for the Ben & Jerry's book because these are non custard based (no cooking required). I use this cookbook a lot because I love fresh ice cream and there isn't always time for a custard. Depending on your ice cream maker most of these can be whipped up in less than an hour start to finish.

                      If you have time to make a custard and refridgerate it overnight (this really helps the final outcome) go for "The Perfect Scoop". All of the custard based ice creams out of this book have been awesome, at my last party I served three flavors and I've never seen people eat so much Ice Cream. It actually got to a point where people weren't even scooping it into their bowls anymore, they were just picking at it with their spoons.

                      To me custards reign supreme for their overall texture and taste but the time it takes to make one isn't always worth it.

                      Other Books I love:

                      A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts by Emily Luchetti - great flavors and great ideas for combining ice cream with other food to make complete deserts.

                      Frozen Desserts: The definitive guide to making ice creams, ices, sorbets, gelati, and other frozen delights by Caroline Liddell - Has a nice section at the end on the science of ice cream. I'm into math and statistics so I really love this. This also has some real interesting flavor combinations in it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BobMack

                        I have heard good things about both the Perfect Scoop and Frozen Desserts (by Liddell). Sadly, my library system carries neither of them. i don't like the Weinstein book (recommended by others, not BobMack).

                      2. I make lots of ice cream, and all you really need is a one good base recipe. I find that Bittman has a couple in How to Cook Everything are pretty much foolproof. Recipes help you to get the custard base right and also the right level of sweetness. Only you know the flavors you like, you just need that base, that blank canvas, and the rest is the easy and fun part.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mandymac

                          Mayyybe, Mandy. I think there are exceptions to the rule of the right custard base, namely fruit flavors. Fruit, with it's high water content and natural sugars, can really mess with even the most foolproof base recipe. I find they work best when pureed and some need to be cooked down to reduce the water content and concentrate the flavor. As far as ice cream with mix-ins, stracciatella or chips, and flavors like coffee, vanilla, chocolate when made with unsweetened cocoa or chocolate, yes the basic custard will work. I'm all into the custard based ice creams since I moved to the Midwest in 2000.

                        2. I picked up The Perfect Scoop over the weekend after trying a recipe that came with the KitchenAid ice cream attachment and having it fail miserably. So far I've churned out a delicious raspberry sherbet and the best chocolate ice cream in the world. I can't say enough about this book.