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

    Never miss a post!


    • Natalie
      June 28, 2009 4:57pm

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

    • June 28, 2009 7:20pm

      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

    • Manon
      June 29, 2009 11:39am

      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.

    • June 29, 2009 3:22pm

      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

    • Cole Ruth
      June 29, 2009 11:14pm

      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

    • June 30, 2009 10:58am

      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,

    • Christian Pettker
      June 30, 2009 1:01pm


      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?



    • Clicky
      July 6, 2009 3:27am

      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!

    • July 7, 2009 2:42am

      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.

    • Vu
      July 7, 2009 1:53pm

      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?

    • Joleta
      July 7, 2009 11:12pm

      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.

    • David
      July 8, 2009 6:15am

      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.

    • vivian
      July 8, 2009 4:32pm

      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!

    • ronda
      July 12, 2009 10:23pm

      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

    • david
      July 13, 2009 2:15am

      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.

    • July 14, 2009 8:42pm

      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!


    • david
      July 15, 2009 2:13am

      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.

    • Adriana
      July 16, 2009 1:58pm

      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,


    • July 16, 2009 2:10pm

      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!

    • July 17, 2009 7:23pm

      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.



    • July 18, 2009 2:06am

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

    • kathy antrim
      July 18, 2009 10:55am

      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

    • Joleta
      July 19, 2009 10:38am

      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?

    • July 19, 2009 10:56am

      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.

    • Joleta
      July 19, 2009 1:53pm

      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).

    • kathy
      July 26, 2009 9:46am

      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

    • Brian
      July 28, 2009 11:45am


      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?


    • Sarah
      July 31, 2009 3:40pm

      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.)

    • July 31, 2009 4:51pm

      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.

    • catherine
      July 31, 2009 6:58pm

      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,

    • August 2, 2009 1:16pm

      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?

    • August 2, 2009 1:29pm

      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..

    • Erik
      August 4, 2009 2:57pm

      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!

    • Nina
      August 4, 2009 5:45pm

      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.

    • Kate
      August 7, 2009 9:58am


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

    • kathy
      August 8, 2009 7:42pm

      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.

    • Jared
      August 9, 2009 2:22am

      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.

    • Debbie
      August 9, 2009 2:20pm

      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?

    • August 9, 2009 2:40pm

      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.

    • August 10, 2009 12:53am


      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

    • kathy
      August 10, 2009 8:36pm

      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.

    • August 11, 2009 2:42am

      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.

    • Gabrielle
      August 13, 2009 7:52am

      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 :(

    • August 14, 2009 10:33am

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

    • k
      August 15, 2009 1:29am

      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


    • August 15, 2009 4:10am

      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
      August 16, 2009 4:34pm

      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.

    • Clicky
      August 16, 2009 11:13pm

      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.

    • sarah
      August 16, 2009 11:48pm

      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!)?

    • David
      August 17, 2009 3:07am

      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.

    • sarah
      August 17, 2009 9:17am

      great, thanks so much – any alcohol you specifically would or would not recommend?

    • sarah
      August 19, 2009 2:52pm

      Hi David – I just wanted to let you know that I ended up using Cachaça (Leblon brand) for the watermelon sorbet, and I think it’s actually the perfect complement to the juicy melon and lime. Thanks again for the great recipes!

    • August 24, 2009 9:24pm

      Hi, David!
      Funny enough, I have another question about watermelon sorbet. Instead of blending everything together, I decided to press the pulp in a cheesecloth, so I would be able to get only the pure juice.
      Since I’ll have only the juice, without pulp, I do believe I’ll need some alcohol, and I thought of adding some red wine. What do you think of this combination, and, in this case, how much wine should I add, for about 1 quart juice?

    • Layla
      September 2, 2009 3:57pm

      Okay so I go to school at johnson and wales as a baking pastry student, a bunch of my friends are culinary students and they have to take beverage service. Somehow as a part of this class they get to try chocolate covered goat cheese, and every single one of them goes running to a baking pastry student claiming it is the best thing they have ever eaten and that they NEED to make it into an ice cream (especially spring trimester). So how do I go about doing this, I tried my own recipe once and it was an EPIC fail. im not sure if i should make a dark chocolate ice cream and swirl a softened goat cheese in or make goat cheese ice cream and swirl dark chocolate in or maybe marble chocolate and goat cheese ice cream. If you could come up with something to mimic that flavor then I would be eternally grateful. Thanks so much.

    • September 2, 2009 4:23pm

      Layla: Perhaps the Goat Cheese Ice Cream (pg 62) in The Perfect Scoop might be what you’re looking for. A few chocolate ideas, like tartufo or stracciatella, might add the right chocolate touch, too.

    • Donna
      September 2, 2009 11:57pm

      Hi, I have looked at a number of ice cream cookbooks and many of them always add lemon juice to fruit ice creams/sherbets/sorbets. Why is that? When I follow these recipes I find that I cannot eat the results, at least not for long, it is so tart. (I mean, lemon on raspberries?) Do your cookbook’s recipes also require lemon? I have not been able to make successful fruit-based ice cream, sherbets, or sorbets since I got my machine.

      I also have not had any luck with making uncooked custard ice creams (it’s been so long that I don’t remember exactly what was wrong with it), or really, ice creams with anything but heavy cream. Half and half and light cream always turn out worse than whole milk which is not as good as heavy cream. It’s delicious but they are too icy and hard after being in the freezer. Heavy cream, on the other hand, has a good texture, but the mouthfeel is a little like drinking heavy cream. Is there any way to compromise the two effects? I have a basic Cuisinart home electric churner.

      Right now my aim is (still!) to make a good basic vanilla ice cream, but with all the recipes out there, I still can’t seem to get it right. Once I do that I hope I can move on to my true goal–that of making fruit ice creams (though your Caramelized White Chocolate Ice Cream sounds like something I’d like too.) Thanks for your wonderful website!

    • September 3, 2009 4:28am

      Donna: Most fruit and berry ice creams and sorbets use a bit of lemon juice to balance the sweetness (if you reduce the sugar, they’ll freeze too hard.) But you really only need less than a teaspoon per quart, or just a few drops. I don’t know which recipes you’re using, but if it’s too strong, you can dial back the lemon juice, to taste.

      I don’t make uncooked custards since people have concerns about raw eggs, but there are plenty of Philadelphia-style ice creams in my book that don’t have any eggs. (None of the fruit ice creams use eggs, and there’s lots of frozen yogurts, too.)

      Check out my post (linked above) on Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer for tips on how to keep ice cream soft during storage.

    • j
      September 7, 2009 12:49pm

      I was making your chocolate ice cream for a party tonight but I guess I thickened the custard too much; the ice cream totally congealed into a mousse in the fridge last night. What can I do? Should I still churn it? Please help!

    • September 7, 2009 4:25pm

      hi j: You can just give it a brisk whisking and it should thin out and be pourable. That’s mentioned in the recipe for Chocolate Ice Cream (page 26), as something to do if the mixture becomes too thick, to make it churnable.

    • Lydia
      September 7, 2009 8:42pm

      I was recently in Belgium where I tasted yogurt ice cream. Since then I’ve been looking for a recipe. I’ve tried the basic custard with yogurt added as flavoring just before churning. It works out okay but not the same. Any suggestions?

    • September 8, 2009 3:30am

      Hi Lydia: I’ve not made a Yogurt Ice Cream because I think the egg flavor wouldn’t jibe with the yogurt.

      So I do just a straight Vanilla Frozen Yogurt. There’s a recipe in The Perfect Scoop (pg 49) if you have the book, and if you strain the yogurt first, as indication in the variation, you’ll get a much stronger yogurt flavor.

      Another tip is to add a few granules of citric acid, to perk it up.

    • Laura
      September 18, 2009 10:12pm

      I tried making your absinthe ice cream today and it turned out soooo yummy, but pretty soft. I have added alcohol to ice cream and sorbets in the past, but cooked it down first…is that what I should do here as well?

    • jonathan
      September 21, 2009 2:12pm

      david – frequent reader, first time poster (although i’ve had a far-away love affair with elise bauer’s ‘simply recipes’).
      there was a nice article in the local paper this weekend about a woman who chose to change careers from nursing to gourmet chocolate, and i couldn’t help noticing who one of her inspirations was (read to end of article).
      take a bow. ;^)

    • E
      October 7, 2009 5:22am

      Hi david, i adore ur vanilla icecream recipe ( philadelphia style) ! im wondering if i can somehow use the same recipe to do a chocolate ice cream? i tried the chocolate recipe in Perfect scoop, but the icecream came out with many tiny bits of chocolate. Im pretty sure i melted the chocolate thoroughly. Using chocolate powder came out disastrous , with a coarse sandy texture . Sigh. Please help, i can’t wait to make a successful chocolate icecream! thanks!

    • October 7, 2009 5:25am

      Hi E: It’s very important to blend the mixture for 30 seconds before chilling and churning it. That step is indicated in the method and breaks up any tiny bits of chocolate and makes the mixture smooth.

    • Beth
      October 18, 2009 9:41am

      I’m getting ready to make your luscious-sounding Roasted Plum Ice Cream, and am wondering how much of the liquid to puree with the fruit, or, more to the point, how much puree should there ultimately be to mix with the cream, and about how thick? I’m trying to get the right consistency for freezing with the smidge of alcohol, want the ice cream to set up properly and not be too melty. Thank you!

    • October 18, 2009 3:15pm

      Hi Beth: Am not sure which recipe you’re referring to for Roasted Plum Ice Cream. There’s a recipe in The Perfect Scoop (page 77) where the plums are simmered on the stovetop. If that’s the recipe, then you puree the plums and any liquid and the sugar.

    • Jerry
      October 25, 2009 5:23pm

      We usually drink 2% milk. When making your ice cream, I would like to know how much heavy cream to add to 2% milk so I don’t have to also buy whole milk. Many of the recipes in The Perfect Scoop call for 3 cups of cream in a double recipe (why make one?) The fourth cup of cream from a quart could be used to add to the 2% milk making the recipe cheaper and use the unused portion of the quart.

    • October 26, 2009 3:48am

      Jerry: I don’t know the exact conversion, but I would say that roughly equal parts cream and 2% milk would approximate whole milk.

      If you’re good at math and want to be extra-precise, heavy cream is approximately 35% fat and whole milk is 8%.

    • Deborah Orrill
      November 2, 2009 11:51am

      Greetings from Dallas!

      As an ice cream fanatique, I’ve very much enjoyed The Perfect Scoop! Everything has been GREAT except my recent attempt at Chocolate-Tangerine Sorbet. It had excellent flavor but was quite grainy. Obviously, I did something wrong with the chocolate, but I THOUGHT it was all melted and it never got too hot. I used Scharffen Berger Semisweet (62 cacao). I would love to perfect this and I’d appreciate any tips making it, preferred chocolates, etc.


      P.S. I hope you’re coming back to Dallas before too long…!

    • November 2, 2009 11:58am

      Hi Deborah: I’ve not had that happen before, but with many of the new chocolates, sometimes the higher percentages can be a bit grainy, even when melted. You can melt the sorbet down, warm it enough to melt those bits of chocolate, then whiz it in a blender for about 15 seconds, which should do the trick.

      Would love to come back to Dallas…but for vacation…or for the ribs!
      ; )

    • Deborah Oorrill
      November 3, 2009 10:18am

      Wow–what a transformation!

      Now, next time I make this recipe should I use a different chocolate and/or melt the chocolate more completely in the sugar/water syrup before adding the tangerine juice? I was a little nervous about letting the mixture boil….

      You’re the best!


    • Karyna
      November 9, 2009 11:41am

      Hi David,
      You are my go-to for all things frozen and delicious, so who else would I turn to with this question?
      I want to make ice cream flavored like an Old Pal cocktail (like a Negroni, but subbing rye for gin), but I’m kind of stumped at how best to attack this problem.
      Do you have any advice?

      Thank you so much,


    • November 11, 2009 4:52am

      Karyna: I’m not familiar with that cocktail but in general, I don’t advise adding more that 1 tablespoon of 40% liquor to 1 cup (250 ml) ice cream base because it may not freeze properly. Good luck!

    • Hi David
      November 16, 2009 2:37am

      Like everyone else here, The Perfect Scoop is my go-to ice cream cookbook. Thank you for making such wonderful ice cream accessible to home cooks.

      I’m considering upgrading to the cuisinart supreme ice cream maker ice-50bc, which I know you recommend. My question is, do you use extra removable bowls? And if so, is the ice cream produced in them the same as ice cream made in the built in bowl? I’m trying to decide if I should invest in some of those, too, so I can make different flavours one after the other, since I assume you can’t clean out the built-in bowl directly after making ice cream (it would need to warm to room temperature).

      Many thanks.

    • November 16, 2009 3:31am

      I do use a Cuisinart ICE-50 for my ice creams and shorbets but have never felt a need to own an extra reusable bowl. Because the insert (bowl) slips out and you can clean it very easily, and can pretty much freeze one flavor right after the other.

      I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison with ice cream made in various machines (who has room?) but am happy with the ice cream that my machine produces. As I mentioned in my post about buying an ice cream maker, most of it depends on your budget, and how often you plan to make ice cream.

    • Naomi
      November 16, 2009 10:14pm

      I have had great success with so many recipes in the The Perfect Scoop! This week I tried to make the Green Tea Ice Cream recipe and I’m not sure what happened. The recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of matcha, which I was able to find at my Asian market. However, I didn’t get the beautiful green colored ice cream and the flavor was very subtle. I have actually never had Green Tea ice cream and am wondering how strong the flavor and color should be? Thanks! -Naomi

    • Ginger
      November 21, 2009 10:22am

      Do the recipes in Perfect Scoop easily double, specifically the ones involving the french ice creams?

    • November 21, 2009 10:40am

      Naomi: I’m not sure why. I’ve made that a number of times and the food stylist made it following the recipe in the book for the photo. Perhaps just add more to the mix until the desired color and taste is achieved next time.

      Ginger: yes, they do!

    • Jerry
      December 20, 2009 3:20pm

      I’m looking for a spumoni ice cream recipe combination. I’ve decided to use a dried tart cherry and pistachio for the middle layer and your own Giandujo gelato recipe minus the chocolate streaks for one of the outside layers, but I am at a loss for a David Lebovitz-worthy third layer which usually consists of some thing pink/red. I’ve made dozens of your flavors and consider your The Perfect Scoop to be the Preeminent book on ice cream. What do you think would finish off this combo? Or, better yet, what three flavors would YOU choose?

    • December 21, 2009 3:22am

      Hi Jerry: I would go with Raspberry, using frozen ones if they’re not in season where you are. Happy churning!

    • December 21, 2009 7:46pm

      Hello David,

      I am planning on making a Turrón Ice Cream. The recipe found on The Perfect Scoop looks great, but I have turrón available (both types, Jijona and Alicante) and would like to make the ice cream using it.

      I am considering usinga Philadelphia style vanilla Ice Cream as a base and somewhere in the process add the turrón.

      What do you think should I do? Do you make turrón ice cream in some particular way when you have turrón available?

      Thank you very much.

      By the way, The Perfect Scoop is great!

    • December 22, 2009 4:38am

      Hi Miguel: If you want to incorporate crunch turron into ice cream, simply crush it up and fold it into the finished custard, just after it’s churned. You can use a vanilla base, or maybe try an almond one, or even white chocolate. Glad you’re enjoying the book!

    • Bernie
      December 27, 2009 11:11am

      Hi: What is the taste difference between custard based ice cream and cream based ice cream? Which one resembles the common store bought ice creams? (I’m in Canada). Thanks.

    • Lans W.
      December 27, 2009 11:07pm

      So, the local Oriental Foods Store in my area just received a large shipment of fresh, young Coconut (ie: the ones that are still green). While normally, i’d drink the nectar (the juice on the inside is very thin, consistancy of thin syrup that’s been left out on the counter and warmed up), scoop out the flesh (soft enough to scoop out with a spoon!), and then eat the flesh as is. However, “The Perfect Scoop” has inspired me to experiment with sorbets (sidenote: made a Lemonade Sorbet with Chardonnay using the proportions for Grapefruit-Champagne Sorbet, absolutely heavenly!). I was wondering if you have any suggestions regarding sorbet or granitas involving fresh coconut nectar, coconut flesh, and nothing else (I must decline on the Coconut-chocolate sorbet, as I prefer the taste of coconut without much else except sugar).

    • Jerry
      December 31, 2009 3:11am

      David, HELP! This is not the first time I’ve made the Cherry Pistachio ice cream from the Williams-Sonoma book, but I take umbrage with their method of putting all the cream and milk etc. into the pot and turning it all into custard (your process of is much better). The other times I made it, I used your process for infusing the milk, sugar and fruit, straining out the fruit, tempering the eggs, then back in the pot to make a beautiful custard, then that into the cream. It was fantastic. This time, I think I let the infusion heat up too much whereas the milk separated. I tried whisking it together before tempering the eggs and then heating it to a custard. It did not thicken nearly as well. Did this prevent the custard from thickening?
      I think I will stick with your tried and true recipes until I iron this one out. I tried to cobble your process with someone else’s ingredients. The ratios were similar to your Honey- Lavender. I have made many of your recipes and truly want to figure out what went wrong. after-all, how else can we experiment and continue your influence? Tomorrow morning I process it. I hope it tuns out ok.

    • December 31, 2009 4:02am

      Jerry: I can’t comment on other people’s recipes, I’m afraid, so it’s best to contact the author of that book to find out what went wrong with their recipe as they’re in the best position to help you out. Best of luck!

      Bernie: Custard-based ice creams are richer, smoother and creamier, while others, made without egg yolks, are denser and firmer, and a bit harder to scoop. It’s a personal preference.

      Lans: You could whiz up the liquid and pulp, then add about 25% sugar to the volume of liquid/pulp, then maybe a bit of rum, if you like that flavor. Then churn it up.

    • January 1, 2010 6:58am

      Hi David! I am really enjoying my copy of The Perfect Scoop (yay for Christmas “surprises”), though vicariously for now. While I could probably content myself with buying Berthillon or Pozzetto ice cream in bulk and serving them with your delicious sauces and toppings, I’d love to be able to churn up my own ice cream, too – I’m a bit of a control freak like that. :) Anyway, my question is whether you have tried or can recommend any of the ice cream makers available here in France. I saw above that you recommended BHV and Darty as places to look, but I’d really appreciate any input you may have regarding brands and so on. Thanks, and happy belated birthday!

    • January 1, 2010 8:22am

      Hi Camille: Glad you’re enjoying the book!

      I have two of these Krups ice cream machines and used them for a while (they cost around €50), until I had to upgrade to a machine with a compressor inside. They work very well (although you need to make sure you have the freezer space. There is also the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, which works well. But be aware that the European mixers only can use the European-based sorbetière bowls, due to EU-mandated modifications.

      You might also check sites like Mister Gooddeal, which has great prices on appliances in France. Happy churning!

    • natalia majluf
      January 5, 2010 2:11pm

      Hi David

      I’m from Mexico and I’m also studying culinary arts. all of your information has been very useful.

      I just wanted to know a good recipe for making goat cheese ice cream. I just love the unusual.

      thank you.

    • January 5, 2010 3:24pm

      Hi Natalia: There a recipe for Goat Cheese Ice Cream in my book, The Perfect Scoop. Your local bookstore might be able to obtain a copy for you, although I don’t know about availability of English-language books in Mexico.

    • Nancy Hilty
      January 10, 2010 1:04am

      I have your book ,”The Perfect Scoop”, and love it. I lived and worked in Hong Kong for two years, and ate fresh UBE ice cream a lot. But the packaged stuff you get in Asian ice cream stores here is crummy. I intend to visit Mitchell’s if they really have the fresh stuff.
      Isn’t ube just cooked taro, or is it another kind of tuber? I should think one could find it in Asian stores…and in these, I have found packets of powdered ube. I’m wondering if I could use this in making ube ice cream. There’s a general direction on the back which says to just add it to an ice cream mix.
      And another question: I’ve become lactose-intolerant since that time in HK, thus my interest in making my own ice cream. Is there any reason why I can’t use lactose-free milk in your recipes?
      Thanks in advance for the information.
      Nancy HIlty

    • Dennis Hill
      January 10, 2010 8:22pm

      My wife gave me your book, The Perfect Scoop, for Christmas which has become my daily reading (can not seem to put it down). Do you have a suggestion as a substitute for half and half? I am in Sydney Australia and I have not seen half and half. I made the lemon ice cream a few days ago by using milk and cream, but the cream seems to have separated out and leaves a thick build up on the spoon when eating. I used a full fat milk and a thickened cream (around 36% fat).

      Thank you for such a wonderful book. I have 4 children from 4 years old down to 3 month old twins, and I look forward to making them ice creams for a long time to come using your book!

    • January 11, 2010 9:44am

      Nancy: I’m not too familiar with Ube. There is a Sweet Potato Ice Cream in The Perfect Scoop. As for dairy substitutes, I can’t offer substitutions because each recipe is different and various dairy alternatives behave differently. I know in the US there is lactose-free milk, but I don’t know about Hong Kong.

      Dennis: You can use 1 part heavy cream and 1 part milk, which approximates half-and-half. I do know that the cream in Australia is a bit richer than in Europe and in the US, so you might want to cut back a bit on that.

    • Tina
      January 15, 2010 4:36am

      Hi David!

      I have your book The Perfect Scoop and have tried many of your recipes with excellent results. There are 2 recipes that I have not been able to perfect, the Raspberry Swirl and the Cheesecake Ice Cream with Blueberry Sauce swirled into it. When I made both Ice Creams, the swirled fruit part came out icey. What do you think could be causing this?


    • Tina
      January 15, 2010 4:37am

      Hi David!

      I have your book The Perfect Scoop and have tried many of your recipes with excellent results. There are 2 recipes that I have not been able to perfect, the Raspberry Swirl and the Cheesecake Ice Cream with Blueberry Sauce swirled into it. When I made both Ice Creams, the swirled fruit part came out icey. What do you think could be causing this?


    • January 15, 2010 10:03am

      Because fruit has a lot of water in it, it tends to freeze on the icier side. Check out the tips on How to Make Ice Cream Softer (links in post, above) and perhaps swap out the sugar with something like corn syrup or another liquid sweetener, or add more alcohol, as directed.

    • January 15, 2010 10:25pm

      Hi David.
      I have your book, The Perfect Scoop, and I love it. Thanks for sharing so many amazing recipes! I wanted to see if you had any recommendations for pairing ice cream with Carrot Cake. (Your recipe for Carrot Cake Ice Cream for NY Times looks intriguing by the way). I know this seems a silly question – but I thought the Master of Ice Cream might be the best source. Carrot Cake is my signature cake and since delving into the ice cream world I thought I should develop a fantastic duo. It would be nice to do something a little more interesting than vanilla but not overpower all of the fantastic flavors of the carrot cake.

      Thanks for considering my question!

    • Shannon Dufresne
      January 17, 2010 12:41am

      Hi David,
      I have posted questions on the past and you were a great help, so I thought I’d give it another shot. I need help!! I have an ice cream company in Phoenix, AZ. I make small batch artisan ice creams. I am having a reoccuring problem with one flavor…i make a vanilla bean ice cream using raw sugar and a little less egg yolks and cream than I normally would. The base is fine after it is made, no curdling, everything looks perfect. BUT, once it is spun, it comes out with tons of little lumps of what appear to be fat. They are like greasy little bits all throughout the ice cream. This doesnt happen with any other flavor…could it be the raw sugar, or maybe the reduction in yolks from 15 oz to 11 oz? I am at a loss. The machine I am using is a commercial Taylor 104-27 if that gives you anymore information. At first I thought maybe it was because I was leaving the vanilla beans in the base overnight until I spun…so I stopped doing that, but the problems is still occurring (not all the time…it seems to come and go). Any ideas?? Your help would be appreciated!! Thanks:)

    • January 17, 2010 6:47am

      Christina: I think both Cheesecake Ice Cream and the Goat Cheese Ice Cream would work really well with carrot cake. Perhaps with a few rum-soaked raisins mixed in!

      Shannon: Sounds like you need to speak with a food scientist and either have them come and analyze your recipe using that particular machine, or to talk to the manufacturer.

    • Alison
      January 29, 2010 1:20am


      Well, I was reading your blog and was thinking, “Hey, I wonder if this person knows about Sea Salt Ice Cream? I’m sure he’s heard of a lot of stuff, but maybe not this…”

      Well, I first heard of it in a video game(I think it was made up for that video game too….) When you make it right, it’s a “salty…then sweet” ice cream,popsicleish/thing delight. :D It’s kinda hard to get the amount of salt you put in it to be right, and I always accidentaly scramble a little bit of the egg mixture. D: But I love it, all my friends come over to make some from time to time, then sit on the roof eating it. xD

      I’ll go read the rest of your blog now…or maybe do some of my homework. Your books seem really interesting, I think I’ll go borrow them from the libary when I get the chance~ Ice cream is very important, as you would probably know, to little 14 year old SoCal girls. xD (gosh, summer’s steadly approaching) Thanks for the help on making ice cream. Trips to RiteAid and Baskin and Robbins is good…but home made’s best. :D

    • Shannon H
      February 11, 2010 12:49am

      The Perfect Scoop inspired my new ice cream-making hobby! I’m new to this, and I’m having trouble with grainy ice cream (not ice crystals). Four of the two recipes I’ve made from your book–Guiness-Milk Chocolate and Super Lemon–had excellent flavor, but an unpleasant, grainy texture. The only recipe modification I made was using bittersweet rather than milk chocolate in the Guiness-Milk Chocolate ice cream. Other than that, I followed your instructions carefully. I refrigerated the Guiness mixture for 19 hours and the Lemon mixture for 1 hour before churning, and my canister was frozen for well over 24 hours. Could it be that the sugar and/or chocolate was not fully dissolved in the milk? Or did I overchurn the ice cream? I am using American supermarket brand dairy products and a Cuisinart ICE-20 ice cream maker. Thank you so for your advise!

    • February 11, 2010 4:37am

      Shannon H: The best way to avoid ice crystals is to make sure the custard or ice cream mixture, if very, very cold before churning, to shorten the churning time. I recommend mixtures sit in the refrigerator overnight before churning, which you did.

      Am not sure if your graininess is butterfat or undissolved chocolate. Since bittersweet chocolate has more cocoa solids, if swapping it out in that ice cream, I’d blend the mixture before churning it. That might solve the Lemon Ice Cream dilemma, too.

    • Dennis Hill
      February 13, 2010 4:40am


      I am in the middle of making my gorgeous and amazing wife a banquet for Valentines day (Sunday). The desert will be Tartufi from your book, “The Perfect Scoop”. I made the chocolate ice cream Philly style on Friday night and let it freeze, and tonight (Saturday) I tried to shape the ice cream into the balls, but found that in the middle of summer here in Sydney, Australia, that the ice cream melted too fast for me. I scratched my head and swore a bit then went looking for a solution which I found and I thought it may be a helpful tip to others using your book. I have just scooped the ice cream into a mini muffin silicone baking tray to make the balls, although they will not come out as balls they should still make a great shape when done.

      As for the rest of the dinner I am going to serve up,

      Entrée: Almond crusted Persian feta with roasted beetroot and a garlic balsamic reduction
      Mains:Rotollo served with beetroot risotto and steamed veggies
      Desert: Tartufi

      Thank you for such a wonderful book, what I love the most about your book is that:
      * it is simple to follow
      *great tips
      *fantastic description and tips on ingredients, and,
      * the recipes actually work !

      My kids love the ice cream, my wife loves the ice cream, my neighbours love the ice cream, and most importantly, our dear friend who is suffering from cancer just adores the Raspberry Ice Cream. Thank you.

    • February 15, 2010 9:12pm

      David –

      Love the blog and all of your recipes I’ve tried thus far. Quick question about Philadelphia style ice cream. I know that making French style ice cream accounts for a much more luxurious texture given the added eggs. Plus, it seems to have less likelihood of getting icy in the freezer. However, my mom cannot tolerate eggs. Do you think it would work if I made your Cherry Almond Chocolate ice cream (pgs 60-61) using the Philadelphia style technique (pg 25)? I don’t want to put all the effort in just to end up with a less than superior product. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

      Regina Carlisle
      Cleveland, Ohio

    • February 16, 2010 11:42am

      Hi Regina: Yes, that should work quite well. Philadelphia ice cream is less-creamy (and firmer) than yolk-based custard ice cream, so keep that in mind and remove it from the freezer a few minutes before serving if it’s too hard.

      Check out Tips for making homemade ice cream softer, too.

      Dennis: Great idea!

    • Jeanette
      February 17, 2010 4:50pm


      I just sort of found your blog last week, while trying to find good pear-ice cream recipes, and — I must confess that the one I ended up trying first was on another blog, but only because I didn’t have enough stuff to make YOUR caramel-pear one.

      1. The pear ice cream I did make has great flavor– it called for a cinnamon stick to be infused in the milk & sugar mixture. But after I finished the ice cream, it had little ’round’ bits in it after freezing it– they felt greasy– and I wonder if it was because that recipe didn’t call for the custard base to be strained? … maybe it was egg proteins that had gotten coated with frozen cream-fat?

      I don’t know if it’s the water content of the pears that I added (perhaps I didn’t cook them down enough) so this ice cream freezes SO hard, I have to set it out for half an hour before I can scoop it, so I might try adding liqueur to it next time– maybe some gin, as I have a pear-infused gin that is delicious.

      2. Last fall I tried a lemon-ginger ice cream made locally, and it’s SO good, I wonder if you could help me concoct a recipe with a good balanced ratio of lemon & ginger?

      3. My first attempt at ice cream late last summer was with locally picked blackberries which I cooked down and strained, and then mixed in with a vanilla ice cream base … oh my word, it was so good.

      I’ll be trying out many of your various recipes quickly in the coming weeks, I’m sure.

      Merci beaucoup,

      Jeanette – in Olympia, WA

    • Amy
      February 17, 2010 10:37pm

      Have you try making black sesame ice cream that is really jet black? I always wonder how it can be so black when you have to add cream into the mixture. very puzzling…

    • Jerry
      February 18, 2010 9:35pm

      I bought some Star Anise, planning to make your Anise ice cream from p.36 0f TPS along with the profiteroles.
      Am I to harvest the little brown seeds or is the whole star considered the seed as the clerk at the Pakistani market suggested? Also, are the seeds, be they the whole star or the little brown seeds, to be crushed first? Thanks for a great book. I’ve made many recipes, too many favorites to list. What do you think of the Raspberry-Rose sorbet substituting another red such as a Cab or a syrah?

    • February 19, 2010 8:11am

      Jerry: That recipes calls for anise seeds, which are different than star anise pods. You could likely use the ones you bought; just crush them whole in a mortar and pestle, and steep until the flavor is satisfactory to your liking.

      Amy: I haven’t tried that, but most professionals to get true, deep-black use Wilton black food coloring.

      Jeanette: I’m unable to offer assistance with other people’s recipes and suggest you contact that author or person that wrote that recipe for guidance. There is a Lemon-Ginger Ice Cream in my book, The Perfect Scoop (pg 43). And I love fresh-picked blackberries, too. You’re lucky to have them!

    • Amy
      February 19, 2010 10:12am

      Thanks David. I will love to see a black sesame ice cream recipe from a guru like you :-) I found some recipes online but all of them look grainy.

      Yeah, I got those food coloring gels too but they are kinda smelly. I guess I just need a small amount. I don’t believe those jet black ice cream has only all nature ingredients too!

      I enjoy reading your Sweet Life in Paris! I am half way through already. Can’t wait to try out those recipes.

    • Jeanette
      February 24, 2010 11:38pm

      I had to comment back again– just made your saffron-coconut ice cream because I had all the ingredients already (I’m from Sweden, and we bake saffron-sweet rolls with almond paste & cardamom for Christmas every year, which is the main reason I always have it!)

      And OH MY GOSH — it’s SO freakin’ delicious. Wow.

    • suyin
      February 27, 2010 2:31pm

      I also just made the coconut saffron ice-cream and, yes, while it was one of the most delicious things ever, it also split on me the next day. am i using an inferior brand of coconut milk or what the heck?

    • Auriana
      March 2, 2010 11:35pm

      Hi David,

      I tried to make your Tiramisu Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop tonight. As is often the case when I work with mascarpone, it broke in my blender before all the sugar dissolved. I realize that I probably blended it too long, but it wasn’t over a minute. Is there any way to salvage this ice cream base? I put it in the fridge to chill it and hopefully re-emulsify it. Do you have any tips for either salvaging this batch or avoiding curdling it in the future?

      I’ve had problems with mascarpone curdling when I’ve made tiramisu in the past. I found that the only way I could avoid it was to gently fold the mascarpone into the egg yolk mixture by hand. What am I doing wrong? I can’t seem to find a lot of commentary online suggesting that this is a common problem.

      Thanks for you help!

    • March 3, 2010 2:10am

      Auriana: Since mascarpone is a very high-fat cheese, I’ve never, ever seen it break. In general, that happened if it’s heated and an acidic ingredient is added. Since it’s happening to you all the time when you use mascarpone, not just when making this ice cream, I suggest contacting the manufacturer and asking them, or perhaps switching brands.

      suyin: I don’t understand when you mean it “split” on the next day. Is that after it’s been churned and frozen? If so, that’s very odd. If it’s been before churning, you might need to whiz is in a blender, to get it smooth again. Since the coconut-saffron ice cream recipe is from Nicky at Delicious Days, you might want to contact her for further advice.

    • March 5, 2010 12:34pm

      Hello David!
      I made vanilla bean goat’s milk ice cream last week from raw milk from a local cheesemaker’s farm. It was wonderful! She raises Nubian goats for their mild milk and I must say it was not ‘gamey’ at all. I didn’t add any cream to it, just made the custard with eggs. I am curious to try different recipes. Have you made goat’s milk ice cream before?

    • March 5, 2010 4:35pm

      Hi Dragana: I love fresh goat milk, but it’s impossible to find in Paris. They only sell the sterilized stuff, which has no flavor. (If anyone knows where to get some, I’d love to get my hands on it.) I’d love to develop some recipes with it, but at this point, I don’t have any.

      I used to live near a goat dairy and they made the most delicious strawberry- goat milk ice cream, but I don’t know what they did, so I can’t say for sure. But it was amazing.

    • March 6, 2010 11:56pm

      I agree. Pasteurized goat milk is nasty. I tried making yoghurt with it – horrible!
      I like the idea of adding strawberries to the ice cream next time. Thanks for your response.

    • Jerry
      March 7, 2010 6:47pm

      Once more, I beg your help. I’m making Profiteroles to be used with the Giandujo gelato. The Profiterole “dough” is runny. I tried adding more flour to the point of too much before it started to thicken, and it never really did. What happened?

    • March 8, 2010 2:30am

      Jerry: It’s likely that you didn’t cook the dough enough, until it forms a smooth ball. Or depending on where you live, perhaps your flour was too weak. (For example, in France, the flour is much finer.) Another issue may be your eggs are too large; I use ‘large’ eggs, which do vary, so perhaps try adding one less to your batter the next time.

    • Diana
      March 9, 2010 5:50pm


      I am interested in making frozen deserts without any dairy. Specifically, I tasted a salted cashew frozen desert that was amazing and had only cashews, water, salt and sugar. Could you offer any guidance in my beginning to try to replicate it. Are there any standard proportions that I should try? I’ve looked at fruit-based sorbets, but am unsure how the proportions would translate to a nut base.

      I do want to add that I was excited to find your website after returning from Paris, having just happened upon Pierre Herme’s macarons (when we went over to investigate the line out the door). Your’s was the first recipe I saw that seemed anywhere near those amazing confections.

      Thanks so much,

    • March 10, 2010 5:51am

      Hi Diana: I don’t have much experience in specifically dairy-free ice creams, but I’ve made a few recommendations above, for books that specialize in them. The basic proportion of 1 part sugar to 4 parts other ingredients usually works, depending on various factors (what kind of sugar/sweetener, fat, etc.)

      Happy churning!

    • Jen
      March 11, 2010 3:46am

      David, I’m a huge fan of your Perfect Scoop book. I bought it a few months ago, and it’s already covered with little splatters of ice cream mixtures because I’ve used it so often! I have a question ~ I ate a delicious mint ice cream at the Foundry in LA recently. It’s different from your fresh mint one (which I’ve made before) in that it almost tasted citrus-y, like a fresh mojito. It was delicately minty, yet still fruity. Any suggestions on how to make a mojito ice cream? My second question ~ how about a good balsamic strawberry flavor? Thanks again!

    • Deborah
      April 1, 2010 12:16pm

      Hi David,

      I love The Perfect Scoop and had great success with its recipes. I just tried the tangerine sorbet, and, while it tasted wonderful, it was gritty. More like a granita, than a sorbet. I used minneolas and, because they’re on the sour side, added a little extra sugar. It chilled for 2 days in the refrigerator. Any suggestions? Also, how long can I keep yolks before I should use them? Will older separated yolks affect my ice cream texture. Thanks!
      P.S. I LOVE the French vanilla, malted milk, and chocolate sorbet.

    • April 2, 2010 3:43am

      Deborah: Because citrus fruits have a lot of water, the resulting sorbets will likely freeze harder and be slightly grainy. That’s natural because water freezes hard, but you can add some sort of stabilizer, liquor, or alternative liquid sweetener. Check my post, linked above, about Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream softer for more ideas.

      Egg yolks can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen, although it’s advisable to stir a small bit of sugar or honey into them first.

    • nadia roden
      April 2, 2010 4:43pm

      Dear David,
      I love your book, thank you.
      Could you recommend an ice cream/gelato class I could take, I would love to and need to perfect my techniques. I hear there are two week long courses one can take in Italy with great gelato chefs.

    • April 3, 2010 3:39am

      nadia: I haven’t attended any of these schools so can’t personally advise, but Carpigiani Gelato University is one, and this Cordon Bleu-based one is another.

      You can contact them for more information about their courses.

    • Lindsey
      April 16, 2010 12:22pm

      Hi David,

      Thanks so much for writing a great book with great recipes! I can now save money, make organic ice cream and know what’s in my food!

      I would like to make a buttermint ice cream. Do you have any suggestions? I would think to make the fresh mint recipe but I’m not sure if I should add the butter to the custard and heat or if I should mix the sugar and butter and a mint extract and sort of come sort of caramelization? Or should I find a buttermint recipe and after it’s finished cooking add it to the custard? Thank =)

    • Maria
      April 19, 2010 6:28pm

      Hi David,

      I love your blog and I plan to buy your book soon. I make ice cream using a ice and rock salt machine, what I find is that my ice cream freezes to the side of the bowl. Is there something I can do to avoid this?
      It looks nothing like the picture of your caramel ice cream on flickr – one consistent texture throughout


    • Martina
      May 11, 2010 12:42pm

      Hi David,
      I bought The Perfect Scoop and have made several recipes from it and all were wonderful! However, I have two questions about the Caramel-Pear ice cream:
      What type of pears would you suggest that are less gritty? I used D’Anjou pears because they looked the nicest at the fruit stand and I like the pear-iness of the variety. But the finished ice cream had too much grit for my taste. I melted it down and poured it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth and it removed some grit, but still not enough. Do you know which pear has the least grit?
      Also got a lot of grease coating my spoon and mouth, so when I melted it I added another cup of 1% milk and 1/4 cup sugar and refroze. Still too much greasy coating. This hasn’t happened with other recipes I’ve made from the book, so I wonder if you had any suggestions?
      Thank you very much for a great ice cream book and for having this blog – I enjoy both very much.

    • May 11, 2010 12:50pm

      Hi Martina: Glad you’re enjoying the book! I mentioned in the headnote to the Pear-Caramel Ice Cream recipe to use Comice or Bartlett pears, which are softer and not-gritty, so I’d give one of those a try. They’re a lot more flavorful as well. (Buy a few extras to snack on…)

      As to the butterfat question, I haven’t had the problem. You could try swapping out some milk for the cream, which will make the ice cream firmer to scoop, though.

    • Jen
      May 12, 2010 5:58am

      Help! Hi, David ~ I just realized too late (after making your salted butter caramel ice cream batter) that the top shelf of my freezer isn’t cold enough for my freezer bowl to work properly. I found that out after churning my ice cream for almost 45 mins and seeing only slush. My question is: do I have to make new batter, or can I leave the slush (it’s really like part liquid part slush) in the fridge and try to churn it again in a properly frozen freezer bowl?

    • May 12, 2010 6:56am

      Jen: Generally speaking, yes, you can re-freeze ice cream (custard based ones). Sometimes bases can get little bits of butter in them is overchurned, so just a work of caution.

      That ice cream doesn’t get as hard as other ones due to the caramel–which alot of people like. But do give it a try again.

    • Jen
      May 12, 2010 2:17pm

      Thanks, David. I know it’s my ice cream bowl because this is actually my 3rd time making your salted butter caramel ice cream ~ the first two times were totally delicious. Everyone out there needs to try this recipe if they haven’t already!!!! Anyhow, I looked after refrigerating the slush/batter overnight and there’s a thick layer of foam on the top. Other than that, looks about the same consistency as before I churned it. Should be fine, right?

    • Kelvin
      May 13, 2010 12:23am

      Hi David,

      I tried doing your Roasted Banana Ice cream recipe from the Perfect Scoop, and when I started churning the mixture inside my pre-frozen tub ice cream maker, I started to get white clumps. Upon tasting, it was actually cream that was clumping.

      I reheated the mixture and the white clumps melted away into the mixture. I’ll be chilling the mixture again, then putting it back to the ice cream machine tom.

      I’d like to know what went wrong and how I could fix it. Any help would be appreciated.

    • May 13, 2010 10:26am

      Kelvin: I don’t understand how that could happen. It sounds like they were lumps of cream, which should have dispersed when the mixture was blended. I don’t know how cream could reform into clots during churning?

    • Kelvin
      May 14, 2010 4:30am

      Hi David,

      I’m thinking because of the cold temperature of the ice cream tub, the liquified fats hardened again. I asked a friend of mine who took some courses in culinary school and she said that I might have heated my mix too quickly which made it “coagulated”? I do have a picture of the mix with the solids in it after I took it off the ice cream maker machine. Would you mind if I send it to you?

      I’m using fresh pasteurized (but not homogenized) organic cream straight from a farm but I stored for a week or so in the freezer, before using it. I’m really stumped with this problem.

      Thanks for the help!

    • Ellen
      June 5, 2010 12:36pm


      I’ve been studiously using your book for gelato this spring and summer, but I’m having difficulty creating/finding a decent recipe for rose gelato. You’ve likely come across the flavor as I have, did you ever develop a good recipe? I’d love to try it!

      By the way, I’ve also had butter forming at the bottom of the pan as the previous posts report. I just avoid scraping the bottom when I decant. We use the Delonghi gelato maker, it is a great machine otherwise.


    • June 6, 2010 3:46am

      Kelvin and Ellen: As you’ve discovered, dairy products (and machines) differ and when I create recipes, I try to use products are close to what are available where others might live. The products I use are pasteurized and homogenized. Regional differences in cream (butterfat) do exist and I’ve not had, or seen, either of those problems that you’ve mentioned. Perhaps calling the manufacturer of your machine will yield an answer specific to that appliance.

    • June 9, 2010 9:41am

      Hi David,

      I’m curious as to how much and which type of chocolate you would add to your malted milk ice cream recipe to make it chocolate malt. I’ve been dying for a good chocolate malt lately and think that ice cream would definitely hit the spot. Thanks so much!

    • Karen
      June 13, 2010 10:53pm

      Hiya David,
      I have jsut made ice cream (the Toasted Almonds and Candied Cherries one from your book). I did everything according to recipe but while I was cleaning all my utensils and my counter top, I looked over my book and found that it said specifically to use egg YOLKS. Immediately I remembered that I had used the whole eggs including the whites. I wanted to ask if it’s okay to still eat the ice cream or if the ice cream will have any flavor differences. It’s already in the fridge freezing and waiting to be churned on the ice cream maker. I feel like a complete failure not seeing the yolk part–and this is my fifth time making ice cream! Many thanks for your help, ahead of time, Karen

    • June 14, 2010 2:10am

      Karen: Yes, you can use whole eggs in ice cream. The reason most recipes don’t is because egg whites cook at a much lower temperature than yolks–which is why a sunny side up egg looks like it does, with firm white and soft center.

      So if you’re making a custard with whole eggs, the whites will cook first. Any bits you’ve likely strained out, when you passed the custard through the strainer. Egg safety rules suggest that eggs get cooked to at least 160ºF (72ºC), which you’ve presumably done if you’ve made a custard. Happy churning!

    • Nikki
      June 16, 2010 8:52am

      Hey David,
      Would you happen to know if the room temperature affects the freezing abilities of an ice cream maker? I’ve been wanting to invest in an ice cream machine, but I’m worried that because I live in a hot and humid country, the surrounding heat might affect how well the ice cream freezes in the machine! Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

    • Chuck Alderete
      June 29, 2010 6:48pm

      Bonjour David,
      I have searched but not yet found an answer to this question: In the Vanilla Ice Cream, custard style, p. 24 of TPS, why is vanilla extract added? Is it really needed, does it affect the texture? I use Tahitian vanilla pods that I buy from Goumanyat, so they’re already quite flavorful and of good size and freshness.
      We’ve run into you at the Bastille market several times on visits, and last September also at Breizh. Looking forward to another trip this September!
      Thanks for any advice.

    • June 30, 2010 2:39am

      Hi Chuck: It’s because to me, the bean and the extract are somewhat different flavors; the bean is deeper and the extract is ’rounder’ and more perfumed. So I use both.

      Nikki: It shouldn’t, as people make ice cream is all sorts of climates. My apartment is over 100ºF in the summer, and my machine works fine. However I do recommend contacting the manufacturer of the machine you plan to buy first as they’re best equipped to tell you about the specific requirements of their machines.

    • Chuck Alderete
      June 30, 2010 11:38am

      Merci bien,

    • July 1, 2010 1:18am

      Hi David,

      I’ll be devoted to you forever if you can come up with a recipe for Speculoos ice-cream or Gelato ;-)
      I had so much of both while in Paris & would love to be able to recreate it at home. Thanks in advance!

    • July 1, 2010 2:05am

      There’s a recipe for Lemon Speculoos Ice Cream in my book, The Perfect Scoop (pg 87). Am not sure what kind you had in Paris, but mine combines both flavors.

    • Joel
      July 1, 2010 12:48pm

      Hi David (and any other readers)

      I purchased your Perfect Scoop book when I purchased the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment. I’ve been having a lot of fun with both. I had a question regarding making Stracciatella. When I melt the chocolate –gently– in a double boiler, it doesn’t exactly get to the consistency where it pours in a thin stream. Adding it to the churning ice cream in more like chunks or large drops, of which quite a bit gets onto the dasher. Is there a specific kind of chocolate that will melt to the desired consistency? I have been adding butter to the melted chocolate to make it easier to add to the churning ice cream, but don’t want to dilute the chocolate. I had been using Bakers semi-sweet chocolate, and wonder if some of my better chocolate (Sharfenberger bittersweet) might be better.


    • July 1, 2010 1:25pm

      It’s likely that it’s the Bakers chocolate, which perhaps doesn’t have all that much cocoa butter, like better quality chocolates. In the post for Mint Chip Ice Cream, you can see how fluid mine was. I would dial up to a better brand or some people add a small bit of vegetable shortening to smooth out less-fluid chocolate, although I prefer just to use the right chocolate in the first place. Happy swirling!