If you have never had olive oil ice cream, prepare yourself: it will change your life. I’m not one for making broad sweeping statements about recipes, but this discovery so changed my own world, I just don’t think I can tone down my enthusiasm. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
The genesis for this recipe came from a conversation I had with my husband about the health benefits of high quality olive oil after he heard a story on NPR’s The Salt. The story gave some direction on how to pick the best quality olive oil (tips like looking for a bottling date instead of an expiry date) so I very proudly showed him the new bottle of Middle Earth Organics Estate Premium EVOO that I had just opened the night before. Like the news story suggested, we took swigs and definitely detected more than a hint of the polyphenol telltale peppery feeling at the back of our throats. Feeling like this good quality olive oil was probably something we should consume more of, I started experimenting with recipes that were more exciting than salad dressing (usually the only thing I use olive oil for).
So, where did the idea for olive oil ice cream come from? Well, it’s actually a common ice cream flavor in Italy, but I really got the idea because I had been researching a far more adventuresome ice cream flavor and I thought “well, this could work instead and might be really yummy”. Ohmigosh, understatement of the year.
So, one of the tricks to making this amazing is to buy really high quality extra virgin olive oil. I’ve been loving Middle Earth Organics, which is available on amazon and form Tropical Traditions. But, you can use any flavorful high quality olive oil you want.
Note on ice cream makers: This is a great investment for Paleo families because it opens up so many delicious possibilities. The Ice Cream Maker Santa brought me two years ago is still going strong and is fairly simple, with a bowl that lives in the coldest part of my freezer ready for whenever I feel like whipping up some sorbet for dessert. It makes very creamy ice cream in about 10 minutes, sometimes less, and is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.
You could also make this ice cream by putting the custard in a metal bowl in the freezer and whisking every 20 minutes or so for the 3-4 hours that it would take to harden. I did this once with a different recipe before getting an Ice Cream Maker. It works, but it isn’t as good as using a machine.
Ah, olive oil ice cream. Creamy, the most exquisite flavor ever, I just don’t know how to describe how yummy this is. And if you really want your mind blown, try topping it with a super well aged thick balsamic vinegar. You’re welcome.
- 1 can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream (1 2/3 cups)
- 3 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup very high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Heat coconut milk on medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, until hot and steaming but just short of a simmer (do not let the milk simmer!).
- Separate eggs (discard whites or save for another purpose) and place yolks in a heat-safe container (a pyrex measuring cup works well).
- Temper the egg yolks by adding a ladle full of hot milk to the yolks while stirring the yolks. Now add the tempered yolks to the saucepot, again stirring constantly.
- Heat the mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly and never letting it simmer, until the custard thickens (should coat the back of a wooden spoon and be about as thick as heavy cream), about 6-8 minutes. (If the custard boils, the egg will curdle. If this happens, it’s still salvageable: remove from heat immediately and pulse through a blender until smooth.)
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl or measuring cup to cool.
- Let cool to room temperature. Add the rest of the ingredients. I think it’s best to blend them together for a minute to fully incorporate, but you can whisk them together too.
If using an Ice Cream Maker:
- Chill the custard in the fridge until cold.
- Place the chilled custard in your Ice Cream Maker and follow the directions. Once it’s done in the ice cream maker, pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-4 hours to harden a little more before serving.
If using a Blendtec:
- Place custard in a freezer-safe bowl and freeze until mostly solid, 4-6 hours.
- Scoop out frozen custard into your Blendtec and press the ice cream button. Voila! This works best if you blend it before the custard is 100% solid. Then you can put it back in the freezer for another hour or two before serving. If the ice cream is so solid, the blades won’t grip it, just let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes and try again.
- Enjoy! Store any leftovers in the soft zone of your freezer (or remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving).