olive-oil ice cream recipe

Olive-Oil Ice Cream

Olive-Oil Ice Cream

You may have noticed that most of my recipes lately have featured olive oil. This is thanks to Sciabica Oil Of the Olive. They sponsored my cooking group, 37 Cooks, and I can’t get enough of their product. Seriously, it is so tasty that I want to put it in everything. The last time I was this obsessed with something, I ended up moving to the geographical armpit known as Florida to live with him. True story.

Anyway, this recipe was inspired by a dessert that I tried at a restaurant called Ecco, here in Atlanta. I’d heard of olive oil gelato before. When I saw it on a dessert menu, I didn’t know what to do. The obvious answer would be to order it. However, we had just plowed through more wine and more food than I’d care to admit eating in one meal. There was no room for dessert.

But it was one of those evenings. My dad was in town, we were out with my boyfriend, things were good, and there were three of us to share the sweet burden. So I told our server that I’d like olive oil ice cream and three spoons. The guys were skeptical. “Olive oil? In gelato?” they wondered. “Well, I guess I’ll try a bite…”

It was one of those times when one bite turned quickly into seven, and with spoons flying the whole dish of ice cream had disappeared almost before we could wonder what happened to it.  You see, olive oil gelato is really, really, really good. It’s just one of those things. You have to try it for yourself.

After that, I had to make it. Homemade ice cream is one of my favorite things, after all. My only concern was how to develop the recipe. Gelato is great, but it depends on milk and lots of egg yolks. I prefer my frozen treats made with heavy cream, thankyouverymuch. So I made an ice cream out of it. If you’ve made ice cream before, you know the drill: infuse sweetened cream with your base flavor. Here we use vanilla because it’s freakin’ awesome with olive oil. Beat in the tempered egg yolks and cook it until it becomes a custard. The only difference here is that you’ll add the olive oil right before churning. I want to protect its delicate flavor by keeping it away from the heat!

This recipe takes two days. On the first day, you’ll make the custard. It will need to chill overnight (or at least for a good six hours until it’s truly cold) before you add olive oil to the mixture and churn it to delicious ice cream. This ice cream is rich, incredibly creamy, and best enjoyed in small portions. The recipe will make about a pint, but that pint will go a long way.

Olive Oil Ice Cream

Special equipment:
Ice cream machine

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used paste but you can use extract)
1/4 cup Sciabica Mission Spring Harvest olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Stir together the heavy cream, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over low-medium until well-incorporated and very hot, but not yet bubbling.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks.

When the cream mixture is nice and hot, ladle a few spoonfuls into the bowl containing egg yolks. Stir them together. Then, whisking the cream mixture constantly, pour the warm yolks into the saucepan. Add the vanilla. Now you’re making custard. Stir frequently, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture has thickened. It will look like a loose pudding, and it should definitely coat the back of a spoon. Depending on your stovetop settings, this could take anywhere between 5-15 minutes.

Strain the custard into a clean container. Refrigerate overnight, or at least until it’s very cold.

When you’re ready for ice cream, stir the olive oil into the chilled custard. When well-incorporated, churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer instructions.

Note: Obviously you can use olive oil besides Sciabica’s if you’d like. Be sure to use the best-quality extra-virgin oil you can find, though!

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