Book Review: The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

by David Lebovitz

Ten Speed Press, 246 pp., $24.95

As an avid amateur ice-cream maker, I'm thrilled to recommend David Lebovitz's newest cookbook to liven up your summer. Written in his characteristic chatty, witty voice, The Perfect Scoop starts with the basics of ice-cream making. It includes a review of ingredients and their purposes, descriptions of ice-cream machines with their advantages and disadvantages, and a list of other equipment that might be helpful in your ice-cream- and sorbet-making endeavors. The recipes that follow range from the basic comfort of vanilla and chocolate ice-creams to such esoteric and sublime-sounding flavors as Roquefort-honey, fresh fig (something else to do with my figs!), and saffron.

The sorbet chapter has already rewarded me with the raspberry-Rosé sorbet. I followed Lebovitz's advice and substituted fresh strawberries for the frozen raspberries to pair with the Italian Chiaretto I used in the recipe. Because of the amount of alcohol in the sorbet, the consistency was soft, but the flavors were perfectly matched, and the final product was – as indicated by Lebovitz – indeed refreshing. I can't wait for the first peaches of the season to start experimenting with his peach recipes. The book finishes nicely with chapters on granitas, sauces, toppings, and vessels such as cookie cups and profiteroles.

During a recent visit to Austin for a Central Market class, Lebovitz spent some time with me on a whirlwind tour of Austin's favorite ice-cream shops. We visited Whole Foods for their homemade gelati and made the obligatory stop at Amy's Ice Creams, where we sampled almost every flavor, and he took lots of pictures for his blog. Last but not least, Matt Lee treated us to the best gelati in town at Teo's. I was smitten by the guava gelato, while Lebovitz couldn't get enough of the peanut butter Nutella flavor. So many ice creams, so little time!

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ice-cream, The Perfect Scoop:Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accessories, David Lebovitz, Ten Speed Press

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