Ice Cream Madness: Book Review “The Perfect Scoop”

Please note, this is sort of  a book review done all in one post. If this doesn’t interest you, feel free to peruse around my blog for restaurant reviews or other recipes.

For the past week or so, I went into a strange tunnel vision-like obsession for all things sweet and frozen. I’m talking about ice cream (along with granita and sherbet). Thanks to Helen to contribute my madness by lending me her ice cream machine, I got myself David Lebovitz‘s book, Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments, gathered a bunch of ingredients from my local market (my main haul was heavy cream). The guinea pigs were pretty much my parents and I.

Crema di Pistacchi Bronte Very thick and viscous
Crema di Pistacchi Bronte; viscous

As a long time fan of Mr. Lebovitz’s blog, I bookmarked his pistachio gelato recipe a while ago since I hope that one day I’d make this myself. In case you didn’t know or you’re reading my blog for the first time, I LOVE pistachio gelato! There’s something innately seductive about this particular nut that I can’t explain. (Possibly it’s so buttery and creamy when it’s in a paste form?)

Churning and freezing the pistachio gelato mixture Pistachio gelato with chopped, toasted walnuts
Pistachio gelato churning and plated

After following through that simple recipe and froze the custard completely, I was floored how delicious this gelato was. It’s dense, creamy and oh-so intensely pistachio that my eyes rolled back in ecstasy at the first spoon. To explain the plated pistachio gelato with the toasted walnuts, it’s to add a crunchy, slightly bitter topping to juxtapose flavors and textures.

Dessert plate of the verrine and Mitzy's macarons
Leche Merengada and Coffee Granita and Mitzy’s macarons

Then I went on the lighter spectrum of frozen desserts with the leche merengada, a sherbet, and coffee granita served along with my good friend Mitzy of Itzy Bitzy Patisserie‘s macarons. (You know how I adore Mitzy’s macarons.)

The combination of the light, ethereally creamy with a hint of cinnamon sherbet (the leche merengada) worked with the flakes of lightly sweetened coffee that mimicked like iced coffee sprinkles.

Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream Green tea ice cream with red adzuki bean sauce

The paramount recipe I’ve tried so far from David’s book was the green tea ice cream. For the past recent years, my mom and I tried many different brands of green tea ice cream and they all taste pallid with a hint of green color. But his recipe was decadent, very creamy and it actually tastes like green tea.

My mom polished off her sundae of green tea swirled with the strained adzuki bean sauce and top it with the homemade candied adzuki bean sauce (recipe from his book as well) in three minutes or less! Since my mom didn’t know who was the writer of the book, she thought David was Asian but I told her he’s an American expat who’s currently living in Paris. That shocked her for a moment and asked for more green tea ice cream. Mr. Lebovitz, if you’re reading this my mom loves you. I bow down to your ice cream expertise.

Green Tea Ice Cream
Source: Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments
By David Lebovitz

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
4 teaspoons matcha (green tea powder)
6 large egg yolks

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk in the green tea powder. Set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.

Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream, then whisk it vigorously until the custard is frothy to dissolve the green tea powder. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

*I prefer freezing the just-frozen green ice cream until it’s hard so the flavors develop.


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Kim: Green tea ice cream is awesome. I do agree that the bitter, the better. :) thanks for the compliment!

    Danny: I have issues dissolving matcha into anything as well but it helps to sift it like one would with powdered sugar or just strain it if it’s still clumpy, depending upon what it is you’re making.

Comments are closed.