I have the most marvelous news to share:

David Lebovitz is coming to visit us at Omnivore Books in San Francisco from 6-7 pm on September 28th. This is possibly the greatest thing that could ever happen, because, well, it’s David Lebovitz! DAVID LEBOVITZ!!!!!

I’ve been gushing about it since Celia found out! And I nearly died when he became friends with the bookstore on Twitter.

If you don’t know who he is well, in quick summation – he’s a most amazing man who used to live in San Francisco and do pastry at Chez Panisse under Lindsey Shere, until he decided to take his chances on living a fabulous life in one of the most beautiful and dare I say delicious cities in the world – Paris.

And he blogs about it, and he tweets about it, and he captures the idiosyncrasies of the French quite perfectly in his new book: The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City. It made me giggle the entire way through. And then I went to the store tout de suite to recreate the well chosen recipes in each chapter.

Ever since I got my new Kitchenaid Icecream Maker attachment last month (THANK YOU MOM!), I’ve been working through David’s recipes from his book “The Perfect Scoop”.


His recipe for nectarine sorbet has been a favorite, because we have been blessed with delicious crops of nectarines and peaches here in California – so I’ve made this twice now. I used really, really ripe fruit – almost on the verge of turning, and the final products were so painfully delicious.

I’m posting the recipe verbatim (something I never do), only because it’s really quite perfect, and I think it captures his personality quite well. (My only notes are – that I skipped the skinning step when making peach sorbet, and it still worked out just fine – also, do make sure to put the kirsch or lemon juice, because it helps to form a smoother sorbet and avoid ice crystallization).

Nectarine Sorbet

makes about 1 quart (1 liter)

There’s a curious custom in Gascony, a region in the southwest of France known for its full-bodied red wines (it’s famous neighbor is Bordeaux). When they’ve just about finished their soup, the locals tip a little bit of the red wine from their glass into their soup bowl, mingling the wine with the last few spoonfuls of the broth.

I later discovered that this custom is equally good with a goblet of sorbet when I was scrambling to figure out a way to make this rosy nectarine sorbet a bit more special for an impromptu dinner party. I simply scooped sorbet into my guests’ wine glasses at the table and let them pour in as little (or as much) red wine as they wished. It was a big success. If you have time to think ahead, prepare a big bowl of sweet, juicy berries and sliced nectarines, and let your guests add some fruit to their sorbet too.

6 ripe nectarines (about 2 pounds, 1kg)
2/3 cup (160 ml) water
1/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 teaspoon kirsch, or 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Slice the nectarines in half and remove the pits. Cut the unpeeled nectarines into small chunks and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add a bit more water if necessary during cooking.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let cool to room temperature. When cool, puree the mixture in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Stir in the kirsch or lemon juice.

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

Variation: For Peach Sorbet, substitute 7 large, ripe peaches for the nectarines. Remove the skins prior to cutting them into chunks.

Perfect Pairings: If you like the idea of red wine with Nectarine Sorbet, pair it with the Raspberry-Rose Sorbet (page 130), or simply serve it in goblets and pass a bottle of fruity red wine, such as Beaujolais, Brouilly, or Merlot.