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A Passion For Ice Cream

95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchetti

A Passion For Ice Cream

Given that the average American consumes 46 pints of ice cream annually, it’s surprising that most settle for the store-bought version. Ninety-eight percent of American households purchase ice cream rather than making it themselves. According to Emily Luchetti, pastry chef at San Francisco’s Farallon restaurant, it’s time to rethink our devotion to those pre-packed cartons.  First and foremost, homemade ice cream yields an intensely fresh taste, born of seasonal ingredients. While commercially made ice cream is overrun with air, home machines incorporate little air for a denser consistency. Making ice cream from scratch means you can forego the stabilizers used in the store-bought variety, which can give the ice cream a chemical taste and gummy texture. Most of all, making your own ice cream provides an opportunity to invent new flavors. And with a wide selection of home machines available, the process couldn’t be any easier than adding ingredients and pressing start.

In A Passion for Ice Cream, Luchetti approaches ice cream desserts with the zeal Dr. Seuss reserved for green eggs and ham. She organizes her chapters based on the method of consumption: you can eat it on a plate, with your fingers, through a straw or in a mold. Many recipes offer clever updates on nostalgic childhood favorites: the root beer float (root beer granita topped with vanilla ice cream), the Creamsicle popsicle (blood orange sorbet atop vanilla custard) and ice cream sandwiches (gingersnap cookies filled with lemon ice cream). Yet decidedly grown-up concoctions elevate the frozen dessert to new heights. Choices like Vin Santo ice cream with figs and almonds and cold Italian hot chocolate with orange-cardamom ice cream infuse this American mainstay with worldly sophistication. Luchetti also includes recipes for making your own sherbet, frozen yogurts, seltzers, sodas and more. While you’re at it, toss aside those processed garnishes and opt for homemade sauces like calvados caramel and toppings like candied coconut. With A Passion for Ice Cream, you can truly make every day a sundae.

Reviewed by Rachel Levin

(Updated: 12/11/08 SB)

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