Saturday, 03 December 2011
Not easily impressed? Check out O Olive Oil and become a fan!
I first time I ever tried olive oil ice cream, it was on a warm, humid day in July. In short, it turned out “ehh.” In retrospect, it turned out “ehh” because of the mediocre olive oil I used. It came from Costco.
The second time I tried olive oil ice cream, it was at il Laboratorio del Gelato in the Lower East Side in NYC. I had a bite-sized sample. It punched me in the face with its intensity. In short, I felt like someone squirted a bottle of olive oil into my mouth. It was flavorful and it was intense. It was too intense. How could anyone survive one full scoop?
The third time I tried olive oil ice cream was tonight. In short, it was AWESOME. I finally realized why I didn’t enjoy the past two experiences- it wasn’t the ice cream. It was the olive oil. I just didn’t enjoy the flavors of the two olive oils in the previous experiences. The first was too mild and heavy and the second was just too intense without much complexity.
A few weeks back, eRecipecards held a contest sponsored by O Olive Oil. These days, it seem as if figuring out a way to incorporate a non-traditional ingredient into ice cream will produce a hit despite how badly it may taste. I mean, some things are just not meant to be made into ice cream flavors (ie ketchup). So that was my submission- incorporating olive oil into ice cream. Imagine my surprise when I actually got chosen.
I was a bit skeptical at first, even a bit scared. I was afraid that the olive oil ice cream would once again turn out to be mediocre. But this experience taught me something. In his olive oil recipe, David Lebovitz recommends a good quality, fruity olive oil. Now I truly understand why. Despite having custard base that is nearly identical to the one you’d make for a vanilla ice cream, the flavors from this olive oil ice cream shine from the olive oil itself. The company sent me their O Clementine Olive Oil. You can fully appreciate the craftsmanship from the pressed olives and citrus. The result is a very light and aromatic flavor that screams of orange. And while most homemade ice creams don’t freeze well due to the lack of air control in home ice cream makers, this one freezes delightfully well. There are no ice crystals nor is it difficult to scoop. Instead, the metal hits this soft and creamy texture, guaranteeing a perfect visual scoop.
While the ice cream is perfect by itself, it’s also delicious topped with summer fruits such as strawberry and pears. Marinate the pears in a balsamic dressing and you won’t regret it.
Note: There are few things in life that I’m sure of, and one of them is that I always manage to lose something while on vacation. While marveling the Swiss Alps, I seemed to have parted ways with my Canon Rebel XT but even more heart-breakingly, my new and shiny a 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. I was even more devastated when I lost nearly 500 photos or four days worth within that 8gb memory card. Alas, at least I didn’t lose my passport. And even when I came back home, my strawberries and pears seem to have mysteriously disappeared, or else they would too have appeared in these Instagrams along with O’s awesome White Balsamic Vinegar.
Here’s one of the last breathtaking pictures my Canon took in Zurich. I’m going to miss it.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup O Clementine Olive Oil
In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of the heavy cream along with 1 cup milk. Add in the sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. When the milk, cream, and sugar are just nearly at the boiling point, take the pot off the heat. Begin to temper the egg yolks by ladling large spoonfuls of the mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk quickly to prevent the egg yolks from cooking into scrambled eggs. You want to do this until the egg yolk mixture becomes hot. Then, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat.
Gradually whisk the mixture for a few more minutes on low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Turn off the fire and let the mixture cool.
After the mixture returns to room temperature, add in the olive oil, gently stir, and freeze in your ice cream maker. It’s best served when it’s slightly soft, directly from the churning. However, it also freezes quite well given the smoothness from the oils.