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July/August 2008 DESSERT COOKBOOK OF THE MONTH: The Perfect Scoop and David Lebovitz' Website

And the winner is..... The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and Lebovitz' Website (http://www.davidlebovitz.com). He writes it from Paris and comments from readers are posted. I really like his website and have made several things from the recipes he posts.

So even if you don't have an ice cream maker, there are plenty of deelish desserts on his website.

I'll post the thread headings tomorrow.

Best, Oakjoan

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  1. YAY! I've just ordered my copy. Can't wait. But, don't forget these posts about Lebovitz' instructions for making ice cream without an ice cream maker http://www.chowhound.com/topics/53187... as well as Delia Smith's http://www.chowhound.com/topics/53187...


    1. I just told a friend of mine about the possibility of this book/website being selected. She is unfamiliar to chowhound.com and I'm hoping to entice her to participate in this thread. She was the beneficiary of my "incomplete" copy--I'd purchased this a couple of months ago, only to find missing (blank) pages--about 10 or so in all. The company (Ten Speed Press) sent me a new copy, so I gave the other copy to my friend (I asked 10 Speed if they wanted the first copy returned, but they said I could just give it to someone). She's enjoying the book very much!

      On a related note, I once emailed David Lebovitz about halving the recipes. I'm currently living alone, so I can't have an entire quart of rich ice cream in the house--it's like crack to me! He said that the recipes CAN be halved, good news for anyone who wants to make a smaller batch. You might have to watch the churning/freezing a little more carefully, though.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte


        I've been visiting Lebovitz' website for more than a year now and find it really interesting and funny. He is not afraid to be gently self-deprecating, which I like a lot, since I swing between self-deprecation and wildly inflated egomania. I see that he answers his email which is another plus.

        Mostly, however, I spend my time being jealous of his ability to live in Paris. I also lived there for a long spell but it was about 300 years ago. Sigh.

        In any case, it's great to know that he answered your question.

        I only have a Donvier hand cranker and would also love to explore non-machine-made ice creams, etc. My son and daughter-in-law r have a great electric ice cream maker which weighs about 500 pounds and sounds like the Daytona 500. The terrific ice cream it produces, however, is worth the hassle and noise.

        1. re: oakjoan

          I'm envious of his Parisian life too! Though I am a few hours from Paris, Kentucky (not exactly the same thing!) And I was impressed that he answered my email--that really scored points with me.

          I am also envious of the ice cream maker your son and DIL have.

          Looking forward to participating in this thread! The July COTM marks the first time I've ever joined in. And I know that you've handed the mantle to MMRuth, but thanks for all of your work in COTM. I did often read the threads, even though I didn't participate.

          1. re: nofunlatte

            Thanks! I really liked being Empress of COTM, but am equally happy NOT being same. MMR is a dedicated and inventive person who will do a great job.

      2. Hurrah! I have this book. Time to dust off my KitchenAid ice-cream maker attachment and make room in the freezer for the bowl. Does this mean I now have absolutely no hope of losing seven pounds before my holiday in Turkey in September?

        2 Replies
        1. re: greedygirl

          Why not go on an all-ice cream diet? A new flavor every day!

          1. re: greedygirl

            I tried to tell my doctor yesterday that I shouldn't be gaining weight because I only eat the best quality ice cream.

          2. Here are links to the threads oakjoan set up:

            Ice Creams

            Sauces & Toppings and Mix-Ins

            Website: All Other Desserts (Cakes, Pies, Cookies, etc).

            Website: Ice Creams And All Other FROZEN Desserts

            Sorbets, Sherbets & Granitas

            Basics, Resources and Vessels


            1. On the picks and pans front, here is a long and informative thread from 2006:

              And here is a more recent thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/536157

              1. On his website, there's an amazing recipe for salted caramel ice cream. Super tasty.
                I should note that i was lucky enough to be able to make it in a maker that has its own refrigeration unit and it's still pretty soft (i'm guessing because of the salt). Anyone making it in a freeze-the-canister maker shoudl be sure to really chill the custard before putting it in the maker. but it's well worth the effort. totally addictive. (be sure to strain it, or you'll have little pieces of butter in your ice cream!)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob Loblaw


                  The "pieces of butter in your mouth" caution made me remember an ice cream place that was wildly popular when I was growing up in L.A. It was called Will Wright's and the ice cream was so rich it left a layer of butter/cream on the roof of your mouth. I got so I didn't like it because of this.

                  Ah, memory lane. Most people have memories of trips to Paris or a first love...I have them of fat on the roof of my mouth.

                2. My book arrived today (yay!) and I'm shopping for an ice cream maker this weekend, so I'll have recipes to post very soon. For my daughter's birthday party at school in August she has requested that we make ice cream sandwiches, so I am looking forward to finding a fun ice cream for that event.

                  1. Just received my copy from the library last night... I would love to know who the obnoxious celebrity chef he refers to is in the blueberry ice cream or sorbet (?) recipe!

                    1. For those of you using ice cream makers to make recipes from this book, I'd love to get your opinions about them. I've started a thread over on Cookware about ice cream makers:


                      1. It's a great website. He has a wonderful sense of humor and I enjoy his insight on life in Paris.
                        I've made the Salted Butter Caramel ice cream from the website 3 times now and I think that it is possibly the best ice cream flavor ever. It's sooooo good. I've also made his Peach Sorbet off the website and it's fantastic.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wired2theworld

                          I posted my kudos on another of the Lebovitz threads and I agree that it's a great website. I also made the Peach Sorbet and it was also fantastic.

                        2. I made his basic vanilla, using the custard. It was lovely except I found it very rich, at many points the roof of my mouth felt covered in butter. I would like to try again but I'd prefer to reduce the fat. I think the recipe called for 2 cups cream and 1 cup whole milk. I was thinking about reversing that and having only 1 cup of cream and two of whole milk. I'm a bit of a ice cream novice, I'm not sure if this would work out. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: cometier

                            From what I've found, most of his ice cream recipes call for 1 cup cream, 2 cups milk, and 5 eggs. You can reduce the fat for sure, but the problem is that it sometimes results in a harder ice cream. The salted caramel never gets really hard- I think it has something to do with the added salt and the praline pieces.

                            1. re: cometier

                              I made the non-custard vanilla (I was feeling impatient) with coconut milk. I used not quite 2 cans, with the second can I scooped off the top and added a little bit of the water at the bottom to make it soft enough to serve. The first time I mixed up two cans and measured from that and it was rock hard. I added a little bit of coconut extract (about 1/4 tsp) in addition to vanilla bean paste. Next I might try chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk/cream!

                              1. re: cometier

                                I finally made this recipe, and used 1 1/2 c of heavy cream, 1 1/2 c 2% milk, and 4 egg yolks. It came out beautifully, even though I screwed up and heated up the milk AND the cream to make the custard. No buttery coating in our mouths!

                              2. This was definitely the perfect pick for the month! I can't help but love David's book, and his fabulous website. The book is creative...addicting, and provides a good start point for anyone who wants to experiment with their own ice cream recipes - which I very highly recommend to anyone who hasn't done so yet! It's worth the effort :)

                                1. he has this improbably excellent recipe called Fleur de Lait ("flower of the milk"), that's easy to miss. I don't have my book with me, but I think it's actually under sorbet or something other than the obvious. it's basically milk, sugar and cornstarch, of all things. not even a dribble of vanilla extract. Sounds ultra-drab, right? But it actually justifies it's flowery name. A great 'sweet cream' flavor, perfect for going with pie or complementing other more elaborate or intense flavors. Try it! There's a few minutes of beating the whole thing, but other than that, it's really easy.