Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Cooking- a review of "The Perfect Scoop" [63]

The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
Ten Speed Press, ISBN 978-1580088084
May 1, 2007, 256 pages

I am not a huge ice cream fan. Especially fruit ice creams. But it is peach season in New Jersey and how can you say no to some beautiful peaches at a lovely little farm market.?

Recently, I was done at the southern point of my fair state and visited a nice farm market, held in the late afternoon and evening every Tuesday in the borough of West Cape May. There were several stands there from local farms, each table of produce more lovely looking than the next. Yes, I need some more tomatoes..a few squash...and look at all those different peppers...

But the queen of the fair were the peaches. White peaches, yellow peaches, tree ripe peaches, baskets and baskets of wonderful smelling peaches. So I had to buy a basket. They were so pretty. Now what to do with them? Well, I peeled all of them and froze some of them, ready for when I need another peach fix. But the ones I kept...well, the perfect summer treat. Peach ice cream!

Now I have made ice cream in the past and actually own an ice cream maker, a rather old one. Electric, but one to which you must add ice and salt to chill it down. Ice..ok. Salt...ok. Recipe...hmmmmm.
So I looked about the Internet and saw a number of people refer to a book called The Perfect Scoop, saying how great the recipes were. Now, why did that sound familiar. Well, of course. Because I own it! So to the cookbook shelf I went and looked in the index for Peach Ice Cream and there was indeed a recipe.

Peach Ice Cream

1 1/3 pounds (600 g) ripe peaches (about 4 large peaches)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Peel the peaches, slice them in half, and remove the pits.  Cut the peaches into chunks and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring once or twice, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar, then cool to room temperature.
Puree the cooked peaches and any liquid in a blender or food processor with the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice until almost smooth but slightly chunky.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I like that this was a Philadelphia style ice cream, as opposed to a French or custard type, the sort that contains eggs. Personally, I like the more simple Philadelphia type, both to make and to eat. And as I believe Mr. Lebovitz says, it allows the fruit to really shine. Supposedly, the French styles are richer, but this was plenty rich enough for me.
The sour cream was not an ingredient I have ever seen in an ice cream recipe before, but I think it was very nice, adding a slight tang. Nothing overpowering, just a hint. Also, I used 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of honey, because I had read somewhere that using some liquid sugar, like honey or maple syrup makes for a smoother product. I also used half and half instead of cream because I happened to have a quart in the frig. I also added 1/4 tsp. of almond extract as well, as well at the called for vanilla...just because almond and peach belong together.

If you are interested in making ice cream or sorbets or granitas, and need some information from the basics of equipment to a variety of sauces and toppings (salted butter caramel sauce, classic fudge sauce...),  add ins (spiced almonds, praline, stracciatella...) and 'vessels' like homemade cones, lemon-poppy seed cookie cups, just to scratch the surface, this is a book you will want to have on hand. He includes the recipes for some 80 ice creams from basic vanilla to the more unusual like Roquefort-honey, Vietnamese coffee and my next creation, tin roof....hmmm..maybe in a cookie cup, just to gild the lily.

The instructions are clear and through, with plenty of great photos, something I think every cook book needs.
A nice book to peruse, perhaps while eating a nice bowl of lovely peach ice cream, topped with a few black raspberries....just because they look so pretty.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. This looks so great! I am loving all these peach recipes appearing these days. The Roquefort-honey sounds, um, interesting?

  2. I've never seen sour cream in an ice cream recipe either. Hmm, interesting! I just have the little Donvier ice cream maker but it works ok for us. The Big Guy is a real fan of peaches - he would love this one.

  3. That sounds yummy. I need to try this out. The one I am making uses yoghurt instead of sour cream. I'm sure sour cream is an additional nice flavour.

  4. i like ice cream! mom buys me puppy ice cream in frozen aisle by purina. tastes like peanut butter

  5. I'm not a huge ice cream fan but I do like it once in a while. This peach ice cream sounds so yummy and I love that it doesn't have eggs. I may have to invest in an ice cream maker one of these days.

    Those tables of peaches look so heavenly. Our fresh fruit and veg is coming to an end here so that makes my mouth water.

  6. Oh I LOVE that cookbook. Lebovitz really knows his ice cream -- I'm always downloading recipes from his blog.

    The photographs of the peaches are stunning. Oh how I love peach season.

  7. I must admit I do love that peach photo...and that ice cream.

  8. A lovely book with yummy treats! I am a huge ice cream fan! Love the stuff. Peach is one of my favorites too. The pictures are beautiful here. I never heard of sour cream as an ingredient but as I've never made ice cream, whadda I know?!
    Great post Caite!

  9. I love me some ice cream, but not of the fruit kind. My husband on the other hand would LOVE this!

  10. I love ice cream and we've made it ourselves-we have one of those rolling ball ice cream makers so the kids love it. One thing I miss about living in the South is the baskets of peaches at the farmer's market. Great post!

  11. I'm not much of an ice cream person either, but your creation with those raspberries looks awfully tempting!

  12. Once again you have appealed to the inner me....the peaches this year have been outstanding, and of course we can make ice cream.

    Peaches are also especially good when combined with wild Maine blueberries in a cobbler, and topped with ginger ice cream....oh good grief....I'm hungry again!

  13. It looks really good. I'm a chocolate ice cream fan but I'd give this a go. :)

  14. This sounds really good! I think I'll have to make it. :)

  15. I love ice cream, but usually not fruit-flavored ice cream. This looks exceptional though!

  16. I think Jersey Peaches are so good. I prefer a good cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top!

  17. I do have those peaches in the freezer. Maybe I need to stock up a bit more. Cobbler......

  18. Well I'm late this week reading all of the Weekend Cooking posts, but was thrilled to see this one! I just bought an icecream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid and have been scouring for recipes!


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