For this past Mother’s Day, my family got me the ice cream maker attachment for my beloved KitchenAid mixer. I had been kind of kicking the idea of getting one for some time, but had always been shot down by my husband, who did not have fond memories of homemade ice cream as a child. His mother refuses to follow recipes, generally, so I would gently point out there might have been a flaw in the system, but never got anywhere until this genuinely surprising gift.
Along with the attachment, he had ordered me two ice cream recipe books – Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Desserts, and the other The Perfect Scoop. The Ben and Jerry’s book is a homey little book, but often uses raw eggs in the mix, as it seems they have easy access to pasteurized egg mix. The recipes are a good source of ideas, but that book did not inspire me as did Lebovitz’s.
David Lebovitz worked at Chez Panisse as a pastry chef, and now lives in France and has a really great food blog. He has published a few books, including The Perfect Scoop. It is far and away one of the most reliable cookbooks I have ever had – I have yet to repeat a recipe, but every one I have made has come out perfectly. He has recipes for old fashioned favourites like Rum Raisin (delicious) and Tin Roof Sundae (sooooon), but also recipes with more unusual ingredients such as peas or avocados. Each recipe is prefaced with a little story, and the Basics introductory chapter introduces basic custard making, discussion of the pros and cons of machinery, and an analysis of basic ingredient types. He also has chapters on granitas, mix-ins and different (tasty) vessels for holding the ice creams. Lebovitz makes it all seem so simple, and the text is so clearly written, that the book is an absolute pleasure to read and use.