French Pizza and Mint Chip Ice Cream

I’m not normally quid pro quo when it comes to food, but when you make something as delicious as David Lebovitz’s mint chip ice cream, someone’s gotta give you something pretty good for dinner before you offer them a whole container. Good thing I’m friends with Harry and Cris. Cris is from Bordeaux (that’s in France) and he’s one of the best natural cooks I know. The other night, they invited us over for pizza.

It just so happened that the day before, I churned up a batch of David’s ice cream. This is the best ice cream I’ve ever made (in my opinion), and I’ve been making a lot of ice cream. What makes it so good? The real mint, of course:

Infusing real mint into cream gives it an authentic, herbal flavor that’s nothing like the synthetic flavor you get from grocery store mint chip.

As for the churning, it’s really fun: after refrigerating the base (which you make with egg yolks and sugar), you pour into your ice cream maker (I use a Cuisinart) and just as the ice cream finishes churning — you’ll know because it’s thick and you can drag your finger through it — you pour in five ounces of chocolate that you melt in a double boiler. The chocolate gets broken up into chips and behold:

I wish you could stab a spoon through your screen and eat some because it’s really that good.

Which is why I must like Harry and Cris a LOT to have brought my whole container over to their place in Pasadena on Saturday night. But then Harry and Cris had spent the day making pizza dough from the Chez Panisse Pizza and Pasta cookbook. Cris being French, he added cream to the dough instead of milk, which I think made it more tart like? But it was still crispy? And amazing?

Look at all the toppings he set out:

Watching him build the pie was like watching an artist at work. He rolled out the dough with a rolling pin (very French!). He topped it with sauce and then tons of meat and cheese: Canadian bacon, ham, sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella. But his REAL flourish was dusting everything with super potent, floral French pepper (I know it’s special because he’s brought me some).

Here’s the pizza out of the oven:

The crust was super crisp and the cheese perfectly melted and that pepper gave everything an amazing heat.

I always forget that it’s possible to make really good pizza at home until someone makes me really good pizza at home. I think it helped that he had a pizza stone (I once got sent a metal sheet for pizza making that’s somewhere in a closet, maybe I should dig it out).

We ate so much of this that I almost forgot about the mint chip that I brought for dessert! (Just kidding: I was thinking about it the whole time.)

Harry scooped some up for us:

And here it is in a bowl:

Maybe Cris and I should open a French pizza and ice cream parlor?

But then I’d have to share with EVERYONE and what would I get out of the deal? Oh, money. That’d be nice.

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