A few months ago we stopped by Mario Batali’s Otto for a late lunch. We split a great pizza but what was super delicious and totally unexpected was the dessert. It was so yummy that I’m still thinking about Otto’s olive oil gelato months after having it.
I generally I don’t have dessert at lunch but my boyfriend was adamant that I simply had to try the olive oil gelato. He’d already had it and kept saying that it was so good. I wasn’t convinced. Olive oil gelato sounds awful but I thought I’d humor him.
OMG! He was soooooooo right. It’s fabulous! Generally I don’t make my own ice cream but then you’re not going to find olive oil gelato in any store and, well, it’s ridiculously good.
It probably goes without saying but this is where to use top notch olive oil. You’ll taste the difference.
Lastly, if you don’t have an ice cream maker you don’t need to feel left out, you can approximate the taste of olive oil ice cream. Taking out a pint good vanilla ice cream and let it thaw until the ice cream starts to get soft. Then stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. It’s not as good home made but it will give you an idea for what its all about.
Olive Oil Gelato
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar
- 10 large egg yolks*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- sea salt for garnishing
Combine the milk and cream in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean with a paring knife and add the seeds to the hot milk. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup of the sugar to the milk and bring just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt together in a medium heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture, then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula or a wooden spoon, until the custard registers 185°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Immediately, strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract and chill over an ice bath, stirring occasionally, until cold. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or, preferably, overnight.
Freeze the gelato in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, stopping to add the olive oil about halfway through the freezing process. Pack into a freezer container and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving. (The gelato is best served the day it is made.)
Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt and add a drizzle of olive oil over each serving of gelato.
* You don’t need to use all 10 egg yolks. If you do the results will be rock your world good. However, if you only have 6 or 8 egg yolks in the frig, this works too. The end result won’t be as rich, but it will beat anything you can buy at the store.
Inspired by a recipe from The Babbo Cookbook, by Mario Batali (Clarkson Potter, 2002).