Tips on How to Make Ice Cream: Questions & Answers

Gelato Spoons

For a number of years, this forum has been a place to ask questions about ice cream making. However after hundreds of questions, everything that could be asked and answered about ice cream making has been said. So comments have been closed and if you have a question, you can use the search feature on your browser to scan the comments.

I’ve learned a lot listening to you about ice cream making and am thrilled that so many of you have taken up the task of churning up ice cream and sorbets at home. Thanks for participating in this forum!


Here’s a list of links to various places on the site where you can find more information and tips about how to make ice cream.

However because to the number of inquiries, please keep in mind…

-If you have questions regarding a specific machine, I suggest contacting the manufacturer as they’re best equipped to give advice on your particular model.

-If you have questions about other people’s recipes, it’s advisable to contact the chef or author of that recipe.

-If you wish to try to recreate a favorite flavor you’ve had in a restaurant or ice cream shop, I suggest contacting the source of the inspiration, such as the company or chef, for guidance.

-While I appreciate those who are on special or restricted diets, there are a number of books out there which address ice cream recipes that are specifically tailored for those seeking recipes on that nature and it’s best to check those sources for recipes and for making modifications.

-Due to the number of comments and questions, yours might have already been answered. You can do a search using your browser for keywords in your question, to find is there is already a response.

-For questions about ingredient substitutions, check out my post on Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.

  • Recipes to use up leftover egg whites

  • How long does ice cream last?

  • Tips for making homemade ice cream softer

  • Recommended equipment to make ice cream

  • Vegan Ice Cream Books

  • Recipes to use up leftover egg whites

  • Making ice cream without a machine

  • The ice cream shops of Paris

  • Meet your maker: buying an ice cream machine

  • Compendium of recipes for ice creams & sorbets

  • What is gelato?

  • How to make the perfect caramel

  • Let’s Make Ice Cream!

  • perfectscoop.jpg


    • Hi David…thanks for responding so quickly to my question! So do home machines NOT rely on incorporating air into the mixture for their ice creams? It seems to just be lightly stirring it rather than getting any air in there. I have made your peach frozen yogurt, but it came out full of ice crystals and hard as a rock after being in the freezer. I did use low fat yogurt though rather than regular, could this make such a big difference?? With the vanilla ice cream I made, I used 1/4 cup less cream than called for, and only chilled my base for less than an hour, rather than all night (but it was cold). The end result had crystals and was a bit chewy, and very dense, like a semifreddo. Could the adjustments I made create that big of a difference, or do you think something could be wrong with my machine? I am trying to decide to return it or not. I make ice creams at work (I am a pastry cook) on a commercial Taylor machine, so maybe my expectations are too high!? But your ice cream seems to be very smooth and creamy, and we are using the same machine….any advice? Are home machines and recipes really so tempermental and specific? I am ice cream obsessed and this is very frustrating:)
      Thanks a lot for your time!!

    • Salpy: I’m not sure, but I would imagine it would work. Give it a go! And let me know how it turns out-I’m interested…

      Shannon: If you’re used to a commercial machine, the home machines don’t churn as fast and you won’t get the same airy ice cream. As mentioned in the book, I don’t use low-fat yogurt and don’t recommend it for that reason.

    • I had this INCREADIBLE champagne gelato with strawberry swirl in an Irish gelato shop, and I really want to recreate it! Any ideas? The closest I’ve found on the internet has been champagne sorbet…

    • Hi David,
      I recently was able to purchase a huge quantity of ripe mangoes from my local Indian market. I made your mango sorbet (amazing) and mixed some in with toasted coconut ice cream (so amazing there are no words). But I wanted to try my hand with some mango ice cream. Most of the recipes I found were kulfi-esque, using whipped cream and the like. Do you have any ideas for how to go about making an American-style mango ice cream? Would you go with a cream base, or milk? Is it okay to pep up the flavor using lime juice/rum/vanilla extract when you’re using dairy in the blend as well?
      Thanks, David!

    • Hi Julie: I can’t recall if I’ve made mango ice cream, but you could likely add puree to a favorite vanilla (or coconut!) ice cream recipe. Simply measure out how much puree you have, add 25% of the amount of sugar (ie: if you have 1 cup puree, add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup puree, add 2 tablespoons sugar, etc…) and heat it until it boils and the sugar is dissolved.

      Mangoes may contain a tropical enzyme which prevents proteins from forming, so you might wish to heat it thoroughly, which kills it. (You can scoot around the internet to find out if mangoes have it.)

      Then add your ice cream custard until it tastes right to you. A squeeze of lime or a bit of rum is a good idea, as mangoes are rather sweet. Happy churning!

    • I noticed you had a recipe for chocolate ice cream with agave nectar but wondered if you’d experimented with fruit ice creams or sorbets using agave nectar?

    • Hello David,
      I follow you in Portugal and I would like to start making my own ice cream’s to try your recipes. I would like to buy a Cuisinart ICE20WH but I cant’t find it in Portugal and Amazon don’t send it to Portugal. As I’m going to be in Paris in june, can you tell me please whre can I find it?
      Thanks and congratulations for the new book! I’m waiting for it!

    • Hi Karen: I haven’t, but in general you can substitute about 3/4s agave for the amount of sugar in a recipe (ie: if there’s 1 cup of sugar in the recipe, use 3/4 cup agave.) You might want to add a bit more or less, depending on the sweetness of the mixture.

      Teresa: I don’t know if that machine is available in France, but the BHV department store and Darty appliance shops carry several affordable ice cream makers. I think the Darty website allows you to pre-order online or check stock.

      (Click on Petit électroménager>sorbetière)

    • We make ice cream/ breads etc. Was wondering if you could recommend a digital scale (preferably one that you employ) for accurate weighing of foods.

    • David, thanks for posting such an extensive tip list for making softer ice cream at home. I’d like to try using vodka or other liquors, and was wondering if this would also work for frozen yogurt? I ask because when I tried following the recipe for frozen yogurt, it came out rock hard. Would alcohol do the trick here? Also, does it impart a noticeable taste? Thanks!

    • Christine: You could add liqueur, but with the yogurt, I think the taste might clash. You should be using whole milk yogurt; low-fat and non-fat milk will yield icy results. You could also used strained yogurt (drained in a cheesecloth) or replace the sugar with a certain percentage of honey or another liquid sweetener (like agave nectar), to taste.

    • Can sorbets be made into popsicles?
      What if you’ve chopped up more fruit than the recipe calls for? Can you toss it in without altering the texture of the ice cream/sorbet?
      Will decreasing the sugar in the ice cream/sorbet recipes alter texture?

    • Eppie:

      Yes, I cut the sugar in half.

      No, you can’t, unless you add more sugar (and other ingredients), proportionally to what’s indicated by the recipe.

      Yes, it will. For more information, you can read Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer

    • David, I made the Orange Popsicle ice cream from TPS. It was heavy on the orange (perhaps too much zest — I used 3 good-sized oranges), so I decided to try the tartufi you suggest to balance out the flavor. I followed the instructions in the book, just substituting good-quality (I guess… Venezuelan 34% cocoa content white chocolate?) white chocolate for the dark. But the mixture of chocolate, butter, and corn syrup first melted, then quickly curdled, then separated into irreconcilable masses of melted butter and thick, stringy chocolate. Does white chocolate function differently than dark when melting for tartufi? Should I have used a different type of white chocolate? Or skipped the butter?

    • David, I made the Orange Popsicle ice cream from TPS. It was heavy on the orange (perhaps too much zest — I used 3 good-sized oranges), so I decided to try the tartufi you suggest to balance out the flavor. I followed the instructions in the book, just substituting good-quality (I guess… Venezuelan 34% cocoa content white chocolate?) white chocolate for the dark. But the mixture of chocolate, butter, and corn syrup first melted, then quickly curdled, then separated into irreconcilable masses of melted butter and thick, stringy chocolate. Does white chocolate function differently than dark when melting for tartufi? Should I have used a different type of white chocolate? Or skipped the butter?

    • HI Katy: Yes, white chocolate is very different than dark chocolate and can’t be substituted. It has more cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids.

      For tartufi, you can just use plain melted white chocolate with nothing else added.

    • Hey David, I went to the cafe at Chez Panisse last week and had an Elderflower drink. It was amazing. I was looking through The Perfect Scoop for an idea on how to make an Elderflower ice cream of granita, and your Champagne/Cassis recipe looked like I could just substitute the elderflower syrup for the cassis, but what about the champagne? I would really like the elderflower to be the most prominent flavor.
      Any thoughts?

    • Jonathan: I don’t know how make all those substitutions, but if anyone else has ideas, feel free to post them.

      If you’re interested in making your own syrup, you can find Hank’s recipe for Elderflower Syrup and give it a try.

    • I fell in love with these coconut sorbet bars by Edy’s. They have a not too sweet but intense coconut flavor. They also have some tiny flecks of coconut in them, just enough for texture. I looked all over for a coconut ice cream or sorbet in a container but can’t find any, at least not here in Pittsburgh.
      I’d really like to make a version of it at home, something I can serve in bowls to guests, perhaps a granita since I don’t have an ice cream maker.
      I’m not an experienced cook.
      What would I use? Coconut milk?

    • Hi Jill: In the recipe for Toasted Coconut Ice Cream in The Perfect Scoop, I infuse toasted shredded coconut in the base of the custard since I like that slightly-nutty flavor. But you could use coconut milk in a standard sherbet or ice cream recipe as well.

      If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can follow the tutorial I wrote about making ice cream without a machine, linked up above.

    • Just wanted you to know that I finally tried the salted butter caramel ice cream recipe with a wet caramel and it seemed to work fine. Tasted fabulous! It was a very soft ice cream, but I think that’s how the original recipe was as well, from what I’ve read.

    • Is there any way to salvage melted ice cream? I made the Toasted Coconut ice cream then left it on the counter instead of taking it to the party. It’s back in the freezer now. Toss it? Save it?

    • Epppie: I most cases, ice cream can be refrozen. If your machine is very powerful, watch it carefully so you don’t overchurn it (the butterfat can get grainy.)

      Or you can use your melted ice cream and serve it as crème anglaise, a pouring sauce for berries or cake. If it’s very thick, whisk it vigorously for a few second to thin it out.

    • I would love to try and make the olive oil ice cream from The Perfect Scoop, but am at a loss as to what type of olive oil to use. You specify it should be fruity. But I’m not exactly sure what you mean. Virgin? Extra Virgin? Italian, Spanish, or Greek?

    • Hi Kay: It’s hard to advise folks to use a specific oil from a specific country, since there’s so much variation in taste (and price.) I use extra-virgin Puget for that ice cream, which is inexpensive in France where I live, but is more expensive elsewhere.

      It’s best to taste your oil and if it’s fruity and strong, give it a pour!

      For more info, read my post: 8 Tips for Choosing and Using Olive Oil

    • I recently got a Cuisinart ICE-20 and have been trying to make a good Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream. I am using some combination whole milk and heavy whipping cream. No matter how long I churn I seem to wind up with ice cream that leaves a butter like film on my tongue. I have followed the instructions in the book and am only churning for 20 minutes, any less it would be soup. What is going wrong and how can I fix it? Help is really appreciated, I can’t wait to make some good ice cream.

    • hi david, i recently bought an ice cream maker (kenwood IM 280). i attempted making a chocolate gelato (as in baking, and it froze well in the freezer bowl during the churning process. however, after i started transfering the ice cream from the freezer bowl into another container, the ice cream started becoming quite melty =(. i’ve read somewhere that the finished ice cream should be in the freezer for 4 hours before eating, but i’m not sure if this is standard procedure.

      another thing to note is that i live in southeast asia, where the climate is hot all year long. has got anything to do with the fact that the ice cream is melty? i had ensured that the freezer bowl was kept in the freezer for 24 hours before using it.

      any advice?

    • si: I can’t answer questions about other people’s recipes. Did you try and contact the person whose recipe it is? They are best prepared to assist you.

      eric: I’m not sure which recipe you’re using. If it’s mine, I’ve never had that problem so perhaps it’s the cream you’re using? I tested my recipes with cream in the 30-35% butterfat category.

    • Heavy Cream vs Light vs Whipping, etc? In your recipes you use “heavy cream” correct? Per Wikipedia heavy cream is 36% and up. So I should really be aiming for whatever cream has 30 to 35%? What is the difference between all the creams, milks, etc other than the fat content? Or is there one?

    • What are reasons ice cream/sorbet fail to thicken in the ice cream maker? This has happened to me twice.
      Thank you for your responses. They have been very helpful.

    • David, I live in the Berry near Auvergne and have a farmer I can order all sorts of fresh dairy products from a few kms from home. Could you point me to what French dairy products I want to use for making ice cream and frozen yogurt? Thanks!

    • David I have enjoyed reading your suggestions on making ice cream. We are a small family owned dairy farm in Kentucky that ventured into the ice cream business to help subsidize a declining market for milk. We have a local source for home made peanut brittle that we have incorporated into our ice cream (Jersey Brittle). My question is will the peanut brittle in the ice cream hold up over time? We know it will over several weeks but worry it may not over a month. In our shop it is not a problem because it does not last that long but we do worry that if we wholesale it the peanut brittle might not hold up.

      We do appreciate your time and again coming to you since you are the expert!!!

      Carl Chaney

    • I just recently bought and Ice-50 ice cream maker. I tried their chocolate truffle ice cream, but used Splenda as a sweetener. The custard turned out to be very thick, more like a ganache, and I had to thin it out so the freezer could churn it.
      The ice cream came out great, although when put in the freezer it turned very hard, somewhat like a rich chocolate fudgsicle. I am assuming after reading all your previous comments that the hardness is probably because of using splenda rather than sugar in the ice cream. However, I can’t figure out why the custard solidified when left in the fridge for a day. Is it possible to cook a custard too long???

    • Francine: Splenda doesn’t behave like sugar, and other sweeteners, which prevent custards from freezing too hard. I have no experience using Splenda but that sounds like what happened.

      Eric F: I do mention the difference in my book in greater depth, but you can use heavy or whipping cream in my recipes interchangably.

      Eppie: I would contact the manufacturer for their advice if the machine isn’t functioning properly.

      Carl: Brittle should hold up over time. It may soften slightly but the freezer should keep it relatively firm.

      Jon: You need to adapt to what’s available. Crème liquide or crème fraîche can be used in place of heavy cream in my recipes.

      Check out my post: American Ingredients in France

    • Hi David

      I would like to make rum & raisin ice cream using real rum. Any help on what type of rum to use for best flavour and how much???

    • David, I am having a blast making spectacular ice cream from Perfect Scoop. The most recent recipe I tried is the one I had the highest hopes for, as I am a Nutella and nocciola gelato fiend. I set out to make your Gianduja gelato, and decided to forgo the straciatella option, just to focus on the hazelnut. Unfortunately, the hazelnut flavor was there, but not very pronounced. And the chocolate flavor was pretty light too. I keep my hazelnuts in the freezer, but roasted them prior to use, as called for. I also used Ghiaradelli milk choc, with a little Guittard semi sweet mixed in. I followed all instructions to the letter. Do you see any issues with my ingredients? Or should I have definitely added the stracciatella? Thanks so much, look forward to getting this one right!

    • Hi David,

      I was trying out your lemon sorbet recipe in the Perfect Scoop and I had a question about the sugar and water. Why only put a bit of water and sugar in the saucepan? Why not just put the entire quantity of sugar and water? I’m not sure if it would make a difference or not. Thanks for any help.


    • Hi David,
      First Luv “The Sweet Life in Paris” book, very funny and very true(lived there for a month, now coming back for a yr – as a petit main)
      Your Perfect Scoop book, I tried and loved the Orange-Cardemom … though I admit… I frankensteined it with your orange dreamsicle recipe and one other(can’t quite) remember… also adjusted your pear-caramel one too!… Is there a reason that these two didn’t freeze to the tongue-frozen-to-the lampost stage? – very smooth and gelato-like, but never froze hard….changes made –
      Orange – cardemom –
      added Oj(1/2 cup) and Pelligrino Arancia drink(1/4 cup), added 1 tsp honey.

      Pear – double the number of pears – 6x(they were tiny), and added burnt pecan brittle pieces…cooked the sugar till amber then REALLY cooked the pears…

      Definitely will try others…As for the orange – my personal fave – out of the 30+ experiments over the years..tasted like ….froot-loop-ish/captn crunch pina colada – bad taste-bud memories…sorry!
      Thank you and who knows maybe I’ll see you around when I come to Paris!
      ed-from SF!

    • Vu: You could heat it all up, but I just use the minimum necessary to dissolve the sugar so the whole thing cools down faster.

      Ariana: Perhaps the hazelnuts you were using weren’t flavorful or toasted enough. You may wish to read Cenk’s version of my Gianduja gelato. If stored in the freezer, in my experience, nuts can lose their flavor and not taste fresh.

      Ed. T: Most people say that homemade ice cream freezes too hard. So if it’s been churned, then stored in your home freezer, and is still not firm, check the temperature of your freezer. There’s guidelines in the book for proper temperatures.

      Francine: I use dark Meyer’s rum, if possible. Any good dark rum should work.

    • Hi David, I have been enjoying your blog for sometime and my family has enjoyed your Perfect Scoop book since I purchased it last summer. I have become quite obsessed with homemade ice cream myself, and my current obsession being an ice cream flavor that I just can’t quite recreate. It’s cookie dough ice cream, but not the usual kind that is found in stores and ice cream shops these days. This ice cream was like biting into a bowlful of raw cookie dough…the whole thing tasted like dough with chocolate chips in it. I am just dying to have it again and am having the hardest time figuring out the right way to get ice cream to taste like cookie dough! The last time I had it was about 20 years ago, and the shop that made it is now gone so I have no good way of finding out the recipe. After flipping through your book the other day for inspiration, I realized if anyone could figure it out it would probably be you ;). And if it ends up in your next ice cream book, you can be sure I will be buying it!!! Thanks! (Merci!)

    • Hi David I read a little while back the post about the caramelised white chocolate and its looks amazing. I also loved the idea you mentioned of swirling it into fresh ginger ice cream. Im thinking of trying this at the weekend (your recipe from TPS) but reading the post you mentioned if you were going to use it as a swirl you should add 25% liquid to it. What would you suggest for this liquid

    • Edd: I’m not quite sure; it would need to be something that stays soft once frozen, such as agave nectar, glucose, or corn syrup perhaps. I would play around with something with a neutral flavor, whatever you decide to go with. Mix a little into the caramelize it, freeze a bit, and see how it behaves. If more is needed, try it again. Good luck!

    • Hi David,

      I am a huge fan of your book, The Perfect Scoop. I make ice cream for fun all the time. A good friend of mine has a dairy farm and I want to make some ice cream using his milk. I told him I usually use a mixture of cream and milk, and he suggested we experiment with light cream as opposed to the separate cream and milk. Have you ever done this? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

      Take care,

    • Rebecca: Lucky you living near a dairy! Because light cream isn’t widely available (or at least it wasn’t in Northern California, where I lived for 20 years), I’ve not developed any recipes for it. But give it a try…you can’t go wrong with fresh cream, light or otherwise.

      Just note that if your lower the butterfat content of an ice cream mixture, it’ll be less-creamy.

    • Hi David

      So I tried the white chocolate and boy was it good once caramelised, but then i tried to add glucose to it and it behaved in a way i really didn’t expect. I caramelised 200g of 30% chocolate and added 3 tsp of glucose (corn syrup not available in UK) and I can only describe it as weird it first went very very grainy and then i heated it a little to try and help it incorporate and then it separated a little. it is now in a kind of firm putty like texture. Im going to freeze it over night and see what happens in the morning. im thinking it may have been because the difference in heat caused the reaction and i actually need a bit more glucose but im just making a complete guess

    • Hi David,

      I know you’re a fan of the Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid brand ice cream makers, but have you ever come across or used a Gaggia Gelatiera? I’d like to find a used ice cream maker, and there is one for sale locally that I’m interested in.

      In the meantime, going to attempt raspberry ice cream tomorrow, sans electricity!


    • Nicki: Unfortunately the Gaggia machines aren’t available in France (which is odd, since we share a border with Italy), so I haven’t used one.

      Edd: If you do a search on Google, you’ll find a few people have made various things with my base recipe for caramelized white chocolate, which may give you inspiration and further ideas.

    • David,
      I was out harvesting dill seed. As I’d bite off the stem of the flower stems that were dry enough, the stems are still green and left a wonderful taste in my mouth.

      And I wondered about making a Dill Ice Cream.

      Any ideas?

      I found this recipe
      Cucumber-Dill Sorbet

    • David, I have your recommended Cuisinart Ic Cream and Yogurt Maker but recently I have seen that Cuisinart has a Soft Ice Cream maker and I would like to know if you have used the latter and if so what you think of it? Is it worth buying or is another?

    • Richard: I would infuse a relatively-small amount of the seeds (maybe start with 1-2 tablespoons, as they’re quite strong) in the cream for about an hour, then make the custard with that. If it’s not strong enough, infuse more seeds in the custard while it’s cooling, then strain it before freezing.

      You could use the Black Pepper Ice Cream recipe in The Perfect Scoop as guidance, for quantities and technique.

      Natalie: I’ve not used the Cuisinart soft ice cream maker, but if someone else has, please feel free to chime in with your opinion.

    • Got It! and yes someone let me know if the soft ice cream maker is worth the bucks…

    • HI David

      I managed to save the chocolate and I used it as a swirl in your ginger ice cream and its really great thanks for the idea I can see this getting made quite a bit

    • Hello David,

      Your book has been highly recommended by Pascale Weeks author of the excellent blog C’est moi qui l’ai fait. I didn’t find it in the stores around here (Luxemburg) so I couldn’t have a look at it to check the ingredients you use (it is of course not possible to do that on the Internet shops either). One of my daughter is allergic to eggs, among other things. I was wondering if your book contains many recipes of eggless icecream. I am not talking of sorbet (or sherbet, thanks to your post I now know the difference). I bought an icecream maker to be able to make her “safe” icecream and I am now looking for recipe books. And your website is beautiful. Thanks in advance for your reply. Au plaisir. M.

    • Hi Manon: Yes, the book has many recipes for ice creams that don’t have eggs in them (they’re called “Philadelphia-style” ice creams) and include vanilla and chocolate, as well as many fruit-based ice creams without eggs (I find adding eggs overwhelms the fruit). Also there are chapters on sorbets and granitas, a vast majority of which are egg-free.

      The recipes are in metric and standard, and you may be able to get a copy by ordering it from your local bookseller. The book is also available at

    • Hi David,
      My mother bought a new ice cream machine and we have been using your book nonstop. However, to use up the egg whites, I made macaroons, which I stuffed with a maple buttercream… Now I have a ton of maple-flavored buttercream. Have you tried putting buttercream into ice cream? Would you recommend an attempt? And if so, would you add it at the end, so that there are buttercream swirls? Or, if folded in just before freezing in the ice cream maker, what do you think will happen to the mix? Will it separate? Or not freeze at all? I suppose there’s no harm in trying but I thought if you’d already tried it, it might save me some time. Thanks in advance! -Cole

    • Hello David,
      Your Perfect Scoop is my go-to for so many ice cream questions, and since this one doesn’t have an answer there, I’m coming directly to the source! Have you ever used a Brix/refractometer in making sorbet, and if so, can you recommend a target reading? Thanks so much,

    • David,

      I found your website while looking for a caramel fleur de sel ice cream recipe after a recent trip to Paris. I wish I had seen your website and book before the trip, but I am having fun exploring it nonetheless.

      Your caramel fleur de sel ice cream recipe looks terrific and i am going to try it. But we had another ice cream, coquelicot de nemours, which was described to us as poppy ice cream. It was terrific; what a great floral aroma! I would love to recreate it at home. Do you have any idea where to start?



    • Hi David,

      I must first say your blog is inspiring! It has gotten me into ice cream making which I once thought was impossible without a machine. I have a couple of quick questions here…hope you’ll help me out.

      1) Strawberry Ice Cream:
      Once I’ve mashed up the berries into a puree, should I ‘cook’ them in a saucepan together with sugar or is it preferable that the sugar be added separately after I’m done with the berries?

      2) General:
      I noted that I had the same problem with one of the commentators above, that is, my ice cream left an oily film on the lips. Could it be the thick cream I’m using? I’ve heard about Creme Fraiche, is it any lighter than thick cream?

      Thanks, David!

    • Clicky: I never cook berries for ice creams or sorbets, as they lose their freshness. As for the oily film that you and the other commenter reported, I’ve made ice cream in America, France, and Japan, and have never experienced that. Perhaps it has something to do with the cream you’re using. The heavy cream that I call for is roughly 36-40% butterfat and suggest you check to make sure you’re using the same. I know some countries have cream with much higher butterfat.

      Christian: It’s likely for that poppy ice cream they use a commercial syrup which may, or may not, be made for the real thing. You can make your own by searching for ‘coquelicot sirop recette’ to find one to make yourself.

      Sandy: Because I write recipes for home cooks, most don’t have refractometers or saccharometers, so I don’t use one. I do have one that I use for making pâte de fruit, but haven’t used it for sorbets or ice cream-making.

      Cole: I probably wouldn’t add buttercream to ice cream as it may be too rich or greasy when churned. But if you do give it a try, let us know how it turns out. btw: Buttercream can be frozen, if tighly-wrapped, for a few months.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the quick response last time. I was making your strawberry sorbet recipe from the Perfect Scoop and noticed how you let the sugar dissolve with the hulled fruit. Why do you do this? And are there any other fruits with which you can use this method?

    • David, you’ve talked about giving your ice cream to various people around Paris. (The butcher, I think, got some of the candied bacon ice cream.) How do you transport ice cream around town? I’ve got a variety of coolers and a car with air conditioning, but I’m afraid to take my ice cream on too long a drive.

    • Joleta: I use a sac isotherme, an insulated bag that the frozen food shops sell in France. The bags I have say they will hold the temperature for about 30 minutes.

      You can get insulated bags in the states very inexpensively, that can be reused over and over, which do the same thing.

    • hi david – do you know if i can substitute lemon juice and zest in place of the pistachio in your gelato recipe? i’ve been searching all over the internet for a sicilian version of lemon gelato (no eggs + whole milk) and can’t seem to find one… would the acidity of the lemon juice cause a problem with the freezing of the base? any help you can provide would be appreciated!

    • ok here it is I have searched and searched this internet and I want to buy a slow churning machine to make authentic gelato for my home there one that is slow churning and will make this at a reasonable price? thank u

    • ronda: Most home machines slow-churn, but Lello makes a machine specifically for churning Italian-style gelato. I haven’t used this particular machine, but it gets good reviews online.

      vivian: No, I wouldn’t swap out the pistachio paste with lemon juice. I don’t think it would work.

      The Super Lemon Ice Cream (pg 85 in The Perfect Scoop) has no eggs and uses half-and-half, so if you have the book, you might want to give that one a spin.

    • Hi, David

      Ice cream season has begun at my place in San Francisco. I kicked off the season with your recipe for Fig Ice Cream believing I followed it to a T. However, it didn’t come out as purple or creamy looking as your recipe. It has a strangely icy texture and it is a purplish grey and speckled white with infrequent white mini-lumps. I suspect that the lemon curdled the cream or something, but I don’t know how to avoid this as the directions say to mix the two ingredients in simultaneously. Is it supposed to be creamy and more purple? I used Black Mission Figs, also as you suggested.

      Thanks for your help!


    • Evelyn: It most likely was the figs that were responsible for the light color. You can check out Clotilde’s post, Two Fig Ice Cream and see the color of her ice cream.

    • Hello David! Hope you can help me. I love ice cream as well my kids.
      I make a dulce de leche ice cream in a Cuisinart maker. I used 2 cups of half-half and 1/2 cup of whipping cream also I used 360 gr of dulce de leche. I heat the half-half, the cream and the dulce de leche until the dulce de leche dissolved. I let it cool and then I pour the mixture in the machine. I let the mix for about 1 hour maybe a little longer, but the mixture never got thick. I want to know what was wrong to avoid the same mistake again.
      Thank you,


    • Adriana: That’s an awful lot of dulce de leche! (And that’s coming from someone who loves the stuff…)

      For 3 cups of liquid, I would not add more than 3/4 cup of dulce de leche. And that will make a very soft ice cream. I would maybe go all with half-and-half as well. Good luck!

    • Hi David,

      Love “The Perfect Scoop”. For the Peach Ice Cream, do you think full fat buttermilk would work in place of the sour cream? I often use them interchangeably in baking, but wasn’t sure about using it in ice cream.



    • Shauna: Yes, you can swap out the 1/2 cup of the sour cream with buttermilk. Sounds good!

    • David, the recipes in the Perfect Scoop are way wonderful. My questions are can heavy cream be substituted for milk in, for example, chocolate and lemon sherbets? And what would it taste like–the same, better, worse? Thanks, Kathy

    • Hi David,
      I’m making some profiteroles to serve later today with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce at a dinner party. Could there be some problem with the recipe (page 232 The Perfect Scoop)? I had a nice dough going before I added the 4 large eggs, and then it became soup. No way to scoop that onto a baking sheet. So I kept adding flour, probably to about 3 cups (recipe called for 1 cup) and they’re in the oven now. Did I do something wrong, or is there (horrors!) an errata sheet for the book?

    • Joleta: Hmmm, that recipe is almost the same proportions as the recipe for Gougères, and you can see by the photos on that page, they turned out fine. (I did cut the proportions in half for the cheese-puffs, but they’re the same proportions as in the book.)

      The recipe does call for one egg yolk and a teaspoon of milk to be used as a glaze before baking. If you had to use 3 cups, I’m unsure of what went wrong. (I double-checked and in Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio, he has almost nearly the same proportion as my recipe, although I’ve cut back a bit on the butter.)

      Kathy: You could likely use heavy cream in those recipes and the texture would be closer to ice cream. I haven’t done it, but whether or not it tastes better would be a matter of personal preference.

    • Wow! Having you point out that gougeres recipe was worth the price of a botched batch of cream puffs. Actually, the first batch came out tasting like little challah rolls, and we had a few for breakfast. For the second batch, I found this recipe, which has the same proportions of water/flour/egg but also some photos so I could be reassured about the consistency. I let the dough cook a bit in the pan to dry it out and then cooled it longer than I had the first time before adding the eggs. I got in all four eggs and the dough was still reasonably thick. Once I got my brain switched over to “pipe” and not “scoop,” everything worked out fine. I’m serving them tonight with your Vanilla Ice Cream and Classic Hot Fudge.

      BTW, my wonderful husband got me the Lello 4080 ice cream maker for my birthday, and I’m working my way through The Perfect Scoop until I’ve made every single recipe (but not in order).

    • Do you have a recipe for strawberry sherbet? Can your recipe for raspberry sherbet be tinkered with to make it strawberry–how? There are a lot of wonderful strawberries around now. Thanks, Kathy

    • Hello,

      My daughter just got back from the Netherlands and she said the ice cream there is much better than in the states. I’m guessing that she probably had a custard style ice cream. What is the predominate style of ice cream in the Netherlands or was it just her perception that it was better?


    • Hello, David!

      I ran across a reference to smoked bacon and egg ice cream in The Flavor Bible (wow) and that got me thinking about sneaking smoky flavor into ice creams. Something like s’mores ice cream or a smoky coffee-chocolate combination.

      I know you’ve done candied bacon in ice cream, which has its own smoky-bacony goodness, but have you any experience using liquid smoke or infusing a custard base with lapsang souchong? A little smoke goes a long way, I imagine, and my online searches have turned up next to nothing. Any suggestions before I start experimenting?

      (Constantly running out of malted milk ice cream, by the way; love The Perfect Scoop.)

    • kathy: There’s a recipe in The Perfect Scoop for Strawberry Sorbet (pg 128). On the site, there’s a recipe for Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, too.

      Brian: I’m not aware of anything in the Netherlands regarding their ice cream, but if you do find out anything, it would be interesting to know about.

      Sarah: I’ve made lots of tea-based ice creams, but not a smoked one. Liquid Smoke is one route, although it has a rather ‘specific’ flavor that’s kinda strong. I’m hoping to do a post on the site about a simple technique for smoking things at home in the future, so that might give some guidance.

    • Hi David,

      Made your mint ic last weekend & doubled the recipe as you suggested, OH MY GOSH…that “was” delish! We also made your chocolate cookies for ic sandwiches. Ir was so late when we finished baking that we decided to assemble the sandwiches the next day but they came out really crunchy, so we just ate the cookies with the ic. Are they supposed to be soft or crunchy? Not sure if we did something wrong. Would prefer a bit softer, any hints?

      Also, any suggestions for a mango ice cream recipe that doesn’t use condensed milk or a lot of other fruit of ingredients? Could I use the base recipe of the mint ic & just add mango?

      Thanks in advance,

    • Hey David! I haven’t seen you in years (since my days at Citizen Cake when you were living here in SF) but really enjoy keeping up with you through your blog & tweets. I have a question for you on the Vietnamese ic recipe in Perfect Scoop. After spinning, the ic separated in the freezer — pretty much 3 layers: coffee, condensed milk and rest of the base. I’m wondering if you ever experienced that? It was spun to what I know to be the right consistency. I used real Vietnamese coffee (weasel coffee, bought in Hanoi) and the usual suspects for the other ingredients. Does this recipe need to be spun longer? Any clue to my woes? Merci. nb – love the required box below! I was once told that one shouldn’t judge a teacher by his/her students. Anyone paying attention knows you live in Texas… Paris, right?

    • Katie: I don’t know why that is happening. You can see Cenk’s post on Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream from the book, and his didn’t have that problem. I’ve actually never had ice cream separate. Perhaps there’s too much sugar in your condensed milk, which could keep the ice cream too soft in the freezer, allowing separation.

      Catherine: Sure, you could add mango puree to that base, making sure the base that you add is sweetened to 25% of it’s volume, ie: If you add 1 cups mango puree, add an additional 1/4 cup sugar. 1/2 cup puree would be 2 tablespoons of sugar, etc..

    • David, I’m doing a riff on a Manhattan cocktail for dessert. Got some stellar sour cherries for pie, and obvioiusly need an ice cream accompaniment. Something along the lines of bourbon/honey ice cream? Maybe incorporate a little orange in there somehow (maybe a couple shakes of orange bitters)? Any other thoughts or suggestions of things I could infuse the custard with?

      And would I add the bourbon after straining the custard, during the cooling process when you often call for additions of vanilla extracts and the like?

      Thanks for any input!

    • Love The Perfect Scoop!! I made the Gianduja-Stracciatella Gelato recently and wondered if there is anything else I can use the ground hazelnuts for after removing them from the milk (other than just eating them with a spoon) ;-). Thanks.

    • David,

      ‘Ever made Sweet Corn gelato? I’d love any tips you may have in making my fantasy into frozen reality! Thanks so much.

    • I’m very delightedly making many, many recipes from The Perfect Scoop this summer and have a few more questions. Can you put the apricot sorbet mixture straight into the ice cream maker, as you say to do with the raspberry sorbet, without chilling it first? Does that make its flavor more pronounced as well? And, can granulated sugar and light corn syrup be substituted for each other without a great change in taste and with the same results (for example, the Lean Chocolate Sauce)–and what are their equivalent measures? The Perfect Scoop is making me, and many other people, very happy this summer–thanks.

    • Hello David,

      I enjoyed your site so much that my wife and I went out and bought your book. I have a question though about the ice cream reverting to normal runny cream after it is left out for awhile (or if it is swirled around with the spoon). It comes out of the ice cream maker fine and is even great from the freezer, but sometimes I like swirl my ice cream to get it to about soft serve consistancy;however, when I do this is just seems to turn into cream (tasty cream to be sure, but not what I’m aiming for.) Now we have not been using heavy cream si I guess that could be it?

      Anyway thanks for the great site and book.

    • I just bought some fabulous peaches and nectarines at the farmers market, and now I’m dreaming about peach and/or nectarine ice cream. My husband has a strange semi-lactose intolerance where he can have heavy cream and yogurt but can’t have uncooked sour cream or creme fraiche. I know you say it’s ok to substitute additional heavy cream for the sour cream component of your recipe, but I’m wondering if Greek yogurt might work. Or am I better off just sticking to heavy cream?

    • Nina: You could likely add them to a bread or muffin batter. You could try washing and drying them on a low oven, until re-crisp.

      Debbie: Yes, Greek yogurt would certainly work in place of the sour cream in my recipes.

      Jared: Ice cream, if left out, will invariably turn into a runny mixture again and I’m not sure there’s anything you can do about it. Cuisinart makes a Soft-Serve ice cream maker. I haven’t used one, but it might be what you’re looking for.

      Erik: I generally add liquor to ice cream mixtures before churning. For best results, I don’t use more than 4 tablespoons per quart (liter) of ice cream. You would have to play around with infusions as I’m not entirely certain what’s in a Manhattan, although I like them very much!

      kathy: All mixtures benefit from being as cold as possible before churning. It reduces the size of the ice crystals, but those mixtures that are uncooked, it’s possible to just freeze them right away since they’re not hot. For your corn syrup question, check out my post: When to Use (and Not Use) Corn Syrup.

    • David,

      I am loving your book The Perfect Scoop! My wife and I have discovered that we really prefer Philadelphia style ice creams and not French custard style which to our sensibility taste too rich and “pasty”.

      My question is, can your recipes that use egg yolks be modified in some reliable way to make them Philadelphia style? Is there a conversion secret? I want to try all your recipes in the Philadelphia style if possible.

      By the way, what an amazing web site. We are traveling to Paris soon and can’t wait to use your suggestions. Thanks for your generosity!

      Scott Jones

    • Making (and loving) more ice cream makes more questions . . . Do you have a recipe for peach sorbet or sherbet? Or can peaches be used in the apricot sorbet recipe with those same amounts of water, sugar, and vanilla? Do you have a recipe for creme anglaise (which would be good with your chocolate sorbet)? Thanks.

    • Scott: No there is no standard conversion that I know of. I tried to do a good mix of both recipes, since not everyone wants to make a custard, yet some prefer to do so. (And have a great trip to Paris!)

      kathy: There’s a recipe for Peach Sorbet in The Perfect Scoop (page 125), at the end of the Nectarine Sorbet recipe. You can find my recipe for crème anglaise here on the site.

    • David,
      I think I have this ice cream business down but I am trying to step it up to ice cream CAKE and was wondering what is the best kind to use? first try I made traditional almondrado pound cake with espresso ice cream. Everything was perfect except the pound cake because all the butter froze super the cake super hard and it wasn’t soft at all. If I just switch the butter to crisco will that make it soften? or is there a better kind of cake to use?
      My 20th birthday is the 22nd and my family is trying to work out a praline blackberry ice cream with amaretto chocolate cake and chambord whip cream frosting. We basically are just fumbling with the cake part and if you have any suggestions please let me know! I wish I could experiment more on my own but the ingredients are expensive so I thought I would cheat and ask an expert/my favorite Parisian, for help.
      Thank you so much,
      p.s. I tried getting the perfect scoop but my library doesn’t have it :(

    • Thanks David for the feedback! I wil start experimenting…..

    • I have two children allergic to soya and dairy products, do you have a recipie for rice-milk ice-cream or anything similar that isnt sorbet?

      kids would truly love to eat something that resembles ice-cream


    • k: I don’t have much experience in non-dairy ice creams but there are two books I’ve heard that are good, that you might want to check out:

      The Vegan Scoop: 150 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream

      Vice Cream

    • Kathy again. I bought some (pure) pistachio paste–I had to buy Trablit because I couldn’t find any Bronte–to make your gelato, and it was heavenly. Now I want to make your other pistachio recipes which call for shelled nuts. How many shelled nuts are equivalent to how much paste? Thanks.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the plethora of information on this site…I’m loving it!

      I still have a couple of questions on strawberry ice cream which I simply can’t get right despite several attempts.

      1) I realised that after several minutes of churning, the mixture developed white lumpy bits. Is it a result of over churning or are the fats separating?

      More importantly…
      2) Many people use a hand whisk and the ice cream turns out fine but I’m having a hard time getting the mixture to ‘bulk up’ despite using a hand-held electric blender! And if I persist long enough, the lumpy bits appear…help!

      Thanks again, David.

    • Hi David – I’ve got a ton of watermelon in the fridge right now, so the sorbet in your book seems like the perfect solution to make sure it all gets used up before going bad. I was just wondering how crucial you think the optional vodka in the recipe is – is it just a taste difference with/without it, or a texture one? We don’t have any vodka in the house right now, so any other alcohol(s) that you think would be a good substitute (I know we have brandy, kirsch, rum, whisky, pretty much everything but vodka!)?

    • sarah: Because watermelon has lot of water, and little pulp, the alcohol is there to prevent it from freezing too hard. Another one can be swapped out, to your liking.

      Clicky: The lumps should disappear once frozen. Making ice cream without a machine won’t yield the same results as with one. You might want to invest in an inexpensive machine, which will help bulk up your ice cream if you’re doing it by hand.