Adding olive oil to ice cream might sound unconventional, a culinary twist that challenges our dessert norms. Yet, within this bold idea lies a harmonious blend of two worlds: the rich, fruity notes of a storied Mediterranean staple and the creamy, dreamy sweetness of a universally adored treat. When combined, they create a flavor profile that is both familiar and refreshingly new, tantalizing the palate in unexpected ways. As you venture into these recipes, you'll discover how olive oil, with its velvety texture and distinctive taste, can elevate a simple scoop into a gourmet experience. Welcome to the deliciously avant-garde world of olive oil ice cream.
Adding olive oil to ice cream recipes, or just drizzling extra virgin olive oil over ice cream has the following benefits:
Flavor Profile: Olive oil can impart a fruity, grassy, or even peppery note to the ice cream, depending on the type and quality of the olive oil used. This can create a unique taste profile that pairs well with certain flavors, such as citrus or herbs.
Texture and Mouthfeel: Olive oil is a fat, and like other fats added to ice cream (like cream), it can contribute to a smooth and creamy texture. The fat from the olive oil can coat the tongue, leading to a luxurious mouthfeel.
Health Benefits: We won't pretend that ice cream is healthy, but olive oil is a superfood that can improve your heart health and even your brain health.
To get sttarted, here are recipes submitted by North American Olive Oil Association members. No ice cream machine is needed to make these recipes.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe by: Terra Delyssa
- 4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 6 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Paste
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup dates, chopped
- Add all ingredients, except for the dates to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into freezer safe containers with an air-tight lid and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours..
- To serve, scoop the ice cream into a bowl then top with the chopped dates and a light drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream
Recipe by: Garcia de la Cruz
- 3oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for serving
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
- ½ tsp kosher salt (use slightly less if using table salt)
- 6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fleur de sel, for sprinkling (optional)
- Mint (optional)
- Place chopped chocolate in a large heat proof bowl. Set a cooling rack and strainer nearby for later use.
- Place milk and cream in a medium-sized pot. Warm over medium heat until mix comes to a gentle simmer. Stir in cocoa and salt.
- While the milk mixture heats, place yolks and sugar in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until mixture becomes pale yellow, thick and creamy, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- After the milk mixture comes to a simmer, ladle about ½ cup into the egg mixture while constantly whisking. Slowly whisk in tempered egg mixture in the pot with the remaining milk mixture.
- Continue to whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour cooked ice cream base through a strainer into a bowl with chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes so the chocolate melts. Whisk to combine. Place bowl over cooling rack and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Stream extra virgin olive oil into ice cream base and whisk constantly until emulsified.
- Once the ice cream base has cooled to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Transfer to a container and allow to set up for at least an additional 2 hours in the freezer before serving
- Scoop ice cream and serve topped with fleur de sel, chopped chocolate or/and mint, if desired.