Olive Oil Ice Cream Recipe: A Unique and Impressive Dessert

It might sound unusual, but have you ever considered trying olive oil ice cream? Believe it or not, it’s a truly incredible treat. The texture is rich and creamy, with a subtle hint of fruity olive oil flavor. This recipe will guide you through making a unique and impressive dessert that will surely delight your taste buds.

Homemade olive oil recipe ice cream in a bowl

I used to experiment with all kinds of unusual ice cream flavors on my blog. While I don’t do it as often anymore, this olive oil ice cream recipe was too good not to share. The olive oil flavor is not overpowering, but it adds a subtle uniqueness and an incredible richness to the ice cream.

Recipe Ingredients

To make this olive oil ice cream, you will need:

  • Half-and-half (or a combination of whole milk and heavy cream)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Egg yolks
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil (opt for a fresh and fruity one)

How to Make Olive Oil Ice Cream

Let’s break down this ice cream recipe with step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl

While the half-and-half is heating up in a saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl. Salt always helps create a pleasant flavor balance in sweet recipes. Whisk vigorously for about 30 seconds until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. You’ll know it’s ready when it drizzles down slowly from the whisk, forming a ribbon-like texture.

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Step 2: Whisk in simmering cream

This step is called tempering. Slowly add the heated half-and-half to the yolk and sugar mixture, whisking continuously. Tempering allows you to raise the temperature without scrambling the eggs.

Step 3: Cook over low heat until the ice cream base thickens

Combine everything in the same saucepan and cook over low or medium-low heat. Stir the mixture in a figure 8 motion until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula. You’ll be able to draw a line through it with your finger. For safety, use a digital thermometer to ensure the mixture reaches 165 degrees F before removing it from the heat.

Step 4: Chill mixture in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the surface

Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Place it in the refrigerator and let it chill for around 4 hours.

Step 5: Spin ice cream

Once the mixture is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to finish preparing the ice cream.

Olive oil ice cream spun in an ice cream maker

Recipe Tips

  • You can adjust the cream to milk ratio for a richer or lighter ice cream. Similarly, you can use more or less olive oil depending on your preference. Try to keep the total amount of liquid similar to maintain the right consistency.
  • When whisking in the olive oil, it might briefly look like it won’t combine. Keep whisking, as it may take a minute for the ingredients to come together. The mixture should be smooth when you add it to the refrigerator.
  • After chilling for some time, the olive oil may solidify, causing the mixture to appear separated. If this happens, microwave 2-3 tablespoons of the ice cream base for 10-15 seconds, then whisk it back into the remaining base. Repeat this process until the mixture is smooth again.
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Which Olive Oil to Use

While you don’t necessarily need to use an expensive olive oil for this recipe, there are a few characteristics to consider when selecting one:

  • Opt for a fruity olive oil rather than a peppery or grassy one.
  • Choose a light-bodied olive oil, unless you prefer a more intense flavor.
  • Use a fresh olive oil that you’ve purchased within the last few months.

For my recipe, I used the Alziari Estate Olive Oil recommended by the experts at Zingerman’s. However, feel free to use a different option that suits your taste preferences. Just make sure to taste the oil on its own to ensure you like the flavor, as it will still contribute to the overall taste of the ice cream.

More Ice Cream Recipes

If you enjoy this unique olive oil ice cream, make sure to check out my other ice cream recipes, such as Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (No-Churn), Baileys Ice Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. You can find even more delicious options in my full archive of ice cream recipes.

Homemade ice cream in a bowl on a marble backdrop

Now that you have the secret to making olive oil ice cream, it’s time to indulge in this extraordinary dessert. Treat yourself to a taste sensation like no other, and enjoy the rich, creamy texture combined with the subtle fruity notes of olive oil. Don’t hesitate to impress your friends and family with this unique and delightful recipe. Happy ice cream making!

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