Saturday, September 15, 2012

REVIEW: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

Operation Use My Ice Cream Maker

Back in July, Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity announced her latest kitchen challenge--Operation Use My Ice Cream Maker. I just looooove ice cream (and other frozen desserts) and already own an ice cream maker so I was very excited to join Trish in this challenge. I posted about Ice Cream Makers and Ice Cream Cookbooks in August and vowed to make some homemade ice cream recipes. I made one. Last Saturday, I finally pulled out the ice cream maker and made the most fabulous homemade ice cream I've ever made in my life! Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. Wow.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home by Jeni Britton Bauer 
If you love ice cream, like to try gourmet flavors and enjoy making something unique from scratch in your own kitchen with wholesome ingredients, you must buy an ice cream maker and the cookbook Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. Trust me. You will not be disappointed.

I bought Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook earlier this year and spent a lot of time actually reading this book. Not just thumbing through the recipes, but actually reading it cover to cover. I loved reading about Jeni's unique artisan ice creams from the creative flavor combinations to her perfected methodology to her recommended food complements to her recipes. After much internal debate and polling my family members I decided on making Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream. ZOMG. It was incredible. Not too rich, not too sweet, perfect pistachio flavor, wonderful smooth texture. If all of the recipes in this cookbook are as good as this one? I am so doomed.

The method for most of the ice creams is very similar. The steps are a bit more involved than simply mixing milk, cream, sugar and fruit or chocolate or other flavoring AND it involves a few bowls and a pot, but it is so worth it.

There's a really fantastic article on the food website Food 52 written by Jeni herself about how to make Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Base. She outlines some of the advance prep you need to do so that when you go into the kitchen to actually make the ice cream, the process runs smoothly and you're not fumbling around for another bowl, pouring and mixing things while you need to be stirring that, and so on. It's really helpful to have everything measured and bowls ready before you begin. There are useful pictures, too.

The Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream is made with real pistachios that are first gently roasted on a cookie sheet in the oven for a few minutes, then processed in a food processor until you have a smooth pistachio paste or nut butter. The color is a mellow yellow-green and buttery, sweet smell and taste.

The pistachio paste is then whisked with a bit of cream cheese and a pinch of sea salt. Later it is added to a milk, cream and sugar base that's been cooked and thickened with a bit of cornstarch. The mixture is then transferred to a freezer zip-top bag and submerged in a bowl of ice and water to cool. After about 30 minutes, the ice cream mixture is poured into the container of the ice cream maker and churned for about 25 minutes or until a thick soft serve consistency.
Note: I use the Cuisinart 1 1/2 Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker and am very happy with it. This is also the ice cream maker that the author used to test all of her recipes for the cookbook.

Now you're supposed to quickly transfer the ice cream into a container, cover the surface of the ice cream with parchment paper to protect it from air and then ripen the ice cream in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. We ate some first. We couldn't resist!

Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream
{Right out of the ice cream maker--I couldn't wait!}
The next evening we had scoops of Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream for dessert and everyone was blown away by the quality of flavor and texture of this ice cream. It was perfect. And since this was the evening after my big bike event [107 miles, 9110 ft elev, 8hrs, 4670 calories], I didn't even feel guilty about indulging in a second scoop! Sorry I don't have photos of this ice cream perfection after it was firm and scoopable. I was really tired by this time of the evening after riding in the Gran Fondo all day and just forgot!

Since the ice cream recipes use pretty much the same base recipe with different ingredient combinations for the flavors, I'm confident they'll all provide similarly fantastic results. Next I'm going to make the Roasted Pumpkin 5-Spice Ice Cream and Baked Apple Sorbet. I can't wait!

I highly recommend this cookbook. If you already have an ice cream maker, you need to get this cookbook. If you've been thinking about getting an ice cream maker, go ahead and get one, but get this cookbook, too.

I give Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads.


Visit Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at their website and their blog . You can also follow them on twitter @jenisicecreams and on instagram with the same username.

Note: I purchased this cookbook with my own money and have not been compensated in any way for this review which is entirely my own opinion.

Be sure to visit Trish's blog today, too for her Operation Use My Ice Cream Maker post. She was more thorough with her challenge and made several ice creams, frozen yogurts and frozen desserts. Lots of photos, too! Mmmm! 

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Weekend Cooking, a weekly blog event hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food related post to share--a food related book review (fiction or nonfiction), cookbook review, movie review, a recipe, random thoughts, gadgets, food quotations, photographs, etc. Please visit Beth's blog for more information and join the fun! 

Note: your post does not have to be posted on the weekend, but do visit Beth's blog over the weekend to link up your post. 


  1. That looks delicious!!
    I'm going to enjoy reading your quest to use the ice-cream maker :D
    Awesome post!

  2. Yay! I love ice cream. I don't have an ice cream maker yet but want to get one someday.

  3. That certainly sounds like a successful experiment/challenge! I don't have an ice cream maker at home, but after looking at everyone's successes, I'm starting to think I should...

  4. Pistachio icecream is my favourite - or is it coconut?? Too hard to choose. cheers

  5. This looks so rich and creamy. We love homemade ice cream, but I have never tried making pistachio. Lots of bookmarks in Weekend Cooking this time.

  6. My mother used to make a pistachio frozen dessert of some kind. So this post made me all nostalgic. Sounds yummy!

    Joy's Book Blog

  7. Oh, that looks so good...wish I had a bowl..

  8. Roasted pumpkin 5-spice? Pistachio? Uh oh. I think I *need* to buy this book. ARGHHHHHHH.

  9. Lu was just telling me about this ice cream book as well and it does sound delicious. When I was shopping for another ice cream recipe book I decided to go with David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop (which is amazing) but I think I'm going to have to get this one as well. Roasted pistachio sounds absolutely amazing. And the cornstarch! I found a few recipes online that called for cornstarch and I wondered about that.

  10. Pistachio ice cream/gelato is my all-time favorite. I wish I had been there to taste yours, it looks marvelous.

  11. GUYS! Do you have ANY idea how incredibly difficult it is right now for me to STOP MYSELF from going into the kitchen and making MORE ice cream RIGHT NOW?!??!!

    Yes, it was THAT good.

    I'm totally psyched to make that Roasted Pumpking 5-Spice Ice Cream, but am waiting until we get a pumpkin in our co-op box, which is usually late October or early November. It' KILLING me!

    In the meantime... that Black Coffee Ice Cream is CALLING MY NAME!

    *sits on hands*
    *taps feet*

  12. Coffee ice-cream? I don't know how you're resisting. You're a better woman than I am! And you're making me want to dig out our old ice cream maker. *g*

  13. Looks so yummy! I'm going to ask my sister to try it LOL. Oh and pistachio paste... perhaps my sister can use it to make macarons too!

  14. Brandy Let's just say I got on the scale and I am flip flopping 2-3 pounds around every week all summer. It's driving me CRAZY. I think I have to go back to using the LoseIt app to get on track again. Too much grazing going on.. :(

    nath YES! I think the paste would work wonderfully in your sister's macaroons! YUM!

  15. I can't imagine eating pumpkin ice cream! Your ice cream looks deliciously smooth and creamy!

  16. Thanks for linking this in. Cheers

  17. Since I was here leaving the other comment I thought I'd tell you: the other week my son & I drove past the nearby Jeni's. They were featuring a "reverse root beer float." Root beer ice cream with vanilla soda. The teen & I meant to make it back there to try it out, but haven't done so yet. It sounds so wonderful.


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