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Jul 14, 2008 11:42 AM


Here's the thread for the chapter in The Perfect Scoop entitled: ICE CREAMS. He has separate sections for other frozen desserts and I've made another thread for Sorbets, etc.

Please feel free to point to other posts that seem particularly helpful or interesting (fab successes or flops, too) in other threads in the DCOTM

I've made a separate thread for the website. Please post recipes found on the website under that topic.

Thanks. I'm really looking forward to this one!


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  1. thanks for setting this up, oakjohn.

    OK, I've made about ten ice creams from the book, and I'm generally very happy with them all. And I really appreciate that metric measurements are given (usually I have to sit down with a calculator for a couple hours when I buy a US cookbook!).

    While his recipes are quite specific, I like that there's room to play around with them. I've found through trial and error that I prefer 4 yolks to his usual six, and 120g sugar to his 150g, based on my personal taste.

    I think the real winners are:
    FRENCH VANILLA - a classic.
    TOASTED ALMOND (I don't add the candied cherries, but keep the chopped nuts)- I've found the secret is to overtoast the almonds - they must be medium brown all the way through, otherwise the flavour's too mild
    MALTED MILK - I use horlicks, and lower the sugar accordingly to 90g. chopped malt balls are a must!
    FRESH GINGER - I add more ginger. Great with chocolate stracciatella.

    I also make a pecan version of the toasted almond, using untoasted pecans, and adding Lebovitz's buttered pecans. Very special.

    Has anyone tried the olive oil or basil ice creams? I really want to, but whenever I suggest it, I'm faced with mutinous ice cream eaters who demand the ones listed above!

    16 Replies
    1. re: Gooseberry

      Gooseberry! Thanks for starting us off with such a detailed and thoughtful post. It has already helped me and I haven't even made anything yet!

      Your experience with the mutineers sounds very much like my husband whenever I mention polenta. I know, I know, it's not the least bit adventurous or weird, but he says "Ewwww! I can't stand it. Reminds me of the congealed porridge I used to get as a kid." So I just have to order it every time we go out to an Italian resto.

      1. re: oakjoan

        I'm pretty much with your husband on the polenta thing. I thought a recent trip to northern Italy might help, but it didn't really.

        Anyhow, I've made a couple of ice creams from this book - the French vanilla, which was just amazing and has spoiled me for anything other than the real deal (vanilla is my favourite ice-cream flavour anyway). I also made the chocolate-peanut butter one, which was also very good. I made both recipes as written.

        1. re: greedygirl

          Hi greedygirl. I'm a vanilla girl myself (who decided 'vanilla' should be a metaphor for boring/plain things?? I prefer to think of vanilla as classic simplicity). I think the best thing about the French Vaanilla is how it can be eaten by itself, OR be a base for some pretty amazing add-ins. I cannot think of an add-in off the top of my head which would not go well with vanilla.

          How sweet was the chocolate peanut butter one? Trying to work out if I should lower the sugar when I make it.

          1. re: Gooseberry

            I made it last year so my memory is a little hazy, but I don't think it was overly sweet.

            Vanilla = win.

            1. re: Gooseberry

              I love vanilla. I think it's just become synonymous with "plain/boring/neutral" because vanilla ice cream is white, therefore "blank." And there are a lot of supposedly vanilla ice creams out there that don't taste like much of anything.

        2. re: Gooseberry

          He has this vanilla recipe on his website. Is this the same as the French Vanilla?

          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

            Yes, that's identical - except he calls for 6 large egg yolks, not 5, in his book. I tend to use 4 though, so clearly there's some wiggle room, depending how rich you want it!

            1. re: Gooseberry

              I just made the French Vanilla for the first time.


              I used 6 egg yolks, but think it would be good with fewer yolks as well.

            2. re: Karen_Schaffer

              I finally made this recipe, using just 4 egg yolks per Gooseberry's suggestion. I also used 1 1/2 c of heavy cream and 1 1/2 c 2% milk, because that's how much cream I had left from another recipe and that's the milk we have in the house. Even with these reductions, it turned out beautifully, plenty rich and creamy enough, with no buttery coating in our mouths, one of my complaints about many homemade ice creams! I'm even tempted to lower the cream to 1 c next time, because it's still almost too rich for me.

              Also, I screwed up and put the cream in with the milk to make the custard instead of making the custard with just the milk. But it still turned out fine.

              My only (minor) complaint is that I notice a slight stickiness to it, a slightly taffy-like effect. What's up with that?

              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                A pretty late response, but...

                I find some of the recipes in the book have that slight stickiness, which I quite like. I found it absent in the Philadelphia-style ice creams, without eggs. So perhaps the custard's the culprit?

                1. re: Gooseberry

                  Yes, that's the egg yolks. Think of the ability of egg yolks to coat forks and plates when you have fried eggs--it doesn't just wash off in the dishwasher.

                  If you don't like that texture, you could up the cream and reduce the eggs, but if you just omit the eggs it might end up on the icy side.

            3. re: Gooseberry

              Hi Gooseberry,

              i have a gigantic beautiful basil plant on my balcony and access to an ice cream maker, but not the recipe (or, even, a clue as to what book is being referenced by this thread - i just found it through the search function).

              ill be your guinea pig if i could get the recipe! if you wouldnt mind posting (or linking) to the basic vanilla also id appreciate it, i just got some hand-delivered tahitian vanilla pods also!

              1. re: tex.s.toast

                Good, a guinea pig! Karen linked the vanilla ice cream above.

                Here's the basil one, paraphrased, a per CH rules:

                BASIL ICE CREAM
                From The PErfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

                1 cup packed basil leaves
                3/4C sugar
                2C heavy cream
                pinch salt
                5 large egg yolks
                zest of 1 lemon (unsprayed i.e. organic/homegrown)

                In a processor/blender, blitz the sugar, basil and half the cream. You want the leaves chopped really fine. Into a jug/bowl, our half this mixture, and add the remaining cream.

                In another bowl, whisk yolks together.

                put the remaining basil mixture in a medium saucepan, add the milk and salt, and heat gently (until lightly steaming). Slowly pour this into the yolks, whisking constantly to prevent scrambling. Return this mixture to the saucepan, and return to the stove over med heat.

                Stir constantly (Lebovitz recommends a spatula to make sure it's not burning on the bottom), until the mix thickens (I test by dipping in a teaspoon; it should coat it, and a finger run down the back of the teaspoon parts the custard cleanly).

                Strain the custard into the jug/bowl containing the basil/cream mixture, and add the zest. Stir until cool.

                Chill in the fridge (I do this for 6 hours min) and then churn.

                He recommends this served with strawberries, which sounds delish.

                Good luck, let us know how it goes.

                1. re: Gooseberry

                  i was just taking a look at your directions and realized you didnt specify how much milk goes in. i PROMISE ill report back if you give me a hint . . .

                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                    You do know this is Chowhound, don't you? This is a separate thread that goes on for 2 months that focuses on a dessert cookbook. We've just done Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert and you can view our picks and pans and comments by searching the "Home Cooking" Board on Chowhound for that book. This month it's The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, both the book itself and his website.


                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      aarg! Sorry. My mistake.

                      1 cup whole milk.

              2. Well, I lucked out and found organic plums at the local farmer's market last week. They were small and dark and tender, a lot like the wild ones David describes in his recipe for PLUM ICE CREAM. I had slightly less than a pound which is probably why using the full amount of sugar made for an ever so slightly too sweet ice cream, to my taste. If that farmer has those plums again, I'll adjust, but man, is this ice cream good. Very fruity, just delicious. Nice texture from the added alcohol. (Oh, and I didn't have kirsch, so subbed cassis vodka.) The color was the most astounding magenta, great wow factor!

                So, I bit and made the OATMEAL COOKIES for plum ice cream sandwiches that he recommended. I didn't add the raisins to the cookies, since my ice cream was already plenty sweet. The cookies were soft and baked up with a nice puffy spread. The only thing I could say negative is that I can taste the baking soda if I eat the cookie on its own, but sandwiched up with the ice cream, it's not as noticeable. So, you may want to make it a scant 1/2 tsp. soda, if you have a persnickety palate. You might get a little less spread and puff, you decide. Fantabulous combo, tres ete!

                1. I made the Roasted Banana Ice Cream (p 72) a while back, and wow is it good. The bananas are roasted with brown sugar until browned & then pureed with milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice & salt. Even though this is not a custard based thing, it is still under ice creams in the book. It is sooooo good!

                  1. Vanilla Ice Cream (p. 24)

                    I made this a few weeks ago as a dessert for a dinner party. It received rave reviews, including one from a colleague's wife and ice-cream aficianado, who uses vanilla ice cream as The Test.

                    I used 5 egg yolks instead of the 6 called for in the recipe. That was unintentional (I thought I had enough eggs, but I was wrong). Still, this ice cream was plenty rich and frankly, I don't think it needs the 6th yolk..

                    I loved this ice cream, but with all that fat, it'll be a while before I make it again!

                    1. I've made several. The malted milk ball stands out in my mind as being absolutely fantastic. The cheesecake was good, if a bit plain. Raspberry sauce (with fresh raspberries from my garden) perked it up a bit.

                      I've made the mint ice cream several times (the mint likes to think it's the boss of my herb garden - har), and we love it. We have never achieved the "lovely emerald color" that he writes about though. It's always white. The finished product is just a very clean, almost neutral ice cream with a touch of mint flavor. It's really good - I don't think I would like it if it was overpowering.

                      Good thread!