Friday, March 26, 2010

David Lebovitz's Vanilla Ice Cream

Just like a great brownie or chocolate chip recipe, everyone needs a great homemade vanilla ice cream recipe in their repertoire. I'm sure a lot of people are saying now that you can buy ice cream at the grocery store so much easier and cheaper, and I'm here to tell you that you are absolutely correct. Sure you can get any mass manufactured pumped full of air ice cream at the store. Sure it is definitely cheaper than making it homemade but I challenge you to try this recipe and I'm sure you will never go back unless it is 2:00 am and you really need your ice cream fix.

I have made a few homemade ice creams over the years. As with many things you make or try out, the ice creams were good especially fresh out of the ice cream maker but, once I put the ice cream in a container and froze it for a few hours it turned hard as a rock. I own a few ice cream books since we eat a lot of it during the summer months. Anything from a rich ice cream to a refreshing sorbet or Granita is loved and eaten in our house. We like it all, probably because it gets really, really hot here during the summer months and any kind of cooling confection is welcome.

On my quest for the perfect ice cream I kept stumbling on this David Lebovitz guy.  After further examination I was intrigued and decided to order his book: The Perfect Scoop. When it arrived I spent several hours drooling over all of the scrumptious recipes. I was so torn of what to make first but Vanilla won out. I settled on the custard style vanilla but David also has a recipe for the quicker Philadelphia style (which is egg-less) in his book. He also recommends adding a little bit of alcohol to the finished custard before freezing it in the ice cream maker which will help with the texture once totally frozen and will prevent it from hardening too much.

I decided that Frangelico was the perfect accompaniment to my Vanilla Ice Cream but I could see this with any other liqueurs or even brandy. This is most definitely the BEST ice cream I have EVER made homemade.  The flavor and texture are incredible. I served this ice cream with our Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies and it was decadent. This recipe will be a staple from now on in my freezer and I can't wait to try some of his other recipes in the book. So if you really love delicious ice cream, order David's book (you won't be disappointed) or you can find his recipe for Vanilla Ice cream HERE.


  1. I've never had any luck with making my own ice cream. Okay, I only tried twice. But still, both times yielded "meh" results. I had the same results, with the extreme hardness, and I wonder if alcohol would do the trick. Also, I've never made one with eggs. Funny, because I'm in Philadelphia and didn't realize I was making it me-style. What sort of ice cream maker do you use? I got an attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer as a gift, but considered it so useless that I packed it away into storage when we moved into our current (smaller, temporary) abode. I wonder if I should dig it out...

  2. mw, we were truly in love with this ice cream. In fact I'm making more of it today to serve with fresh strawberries. This time I think I'm going to add a little bit of dark rum to the ice cream and see how that turns out. The Frangelico was undetectable to me. I use a Cuisinart ICE-30BC Ice Cream Maker. I've had it for a few years and made a few homemade ones but this is the first year I'm confident I will be using it a lot. I have heard of the kitchen aid one working quite well so maybe it is time to dust it off and try out some ice creams ;o)
    BTW, funny coincidence: I lived in Delaware for several years and went to Philly quite frequently, in fact my husband and I are die-hard Eagles and Phillies fans :o)

  3. Hmm... you're in the southwest? And an Eagles fan? I hope you're not in Texas! Those Dallas fans are savages I hear... :)

  4. LOL mw, nope no Texas, we are in AZ

  5. Looks so good! I can't wait to start making ice creams again.

    MW: the addition of alcohol makes ice creams softer. I think all you need is between 2 tsp to 1 tbsp per recipe.

  6. Actually the addition of alcohol prevents it from hardening too much and prevents ice crystals from forming. David Lebovitz recommends up to 3 Tbps. of 80 proof liquor per quart of ice cream. Anything less than one tablespoon would not be enough to change the texture and more than 3 and it won't freeze correctly. I used 2 Tbsp. each time I have made it and it turns out perfect.


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