Rich vanilla ice cream gets a flavor boost from fruity vanilla bean olive oil.
Today was one of those days where you feel how close summer is. Sure, it’s only April, but here in Utah there’s a very fine line (and short amount of time) between chilly jacket weather and hot tank top weather. One week the furnace is going, and the next the AC. Today we needed neither, it was ideal middle ground. All the windows were wide open, the birds were singing, and lawn mowers hummed in the background.
Today was perfect.
Today also got me very excited for homemade ice cream season, and I’m happy that I had jumped the gun earlier in the week when I made a batch of vanilla bean olive oil ice cream.
If you’ve yet to try olive oil ice cream, you are truly missing out. It may seem like an unusual combo, but I promise that any skepticism you may have will go right out the window with that first spoonful.
I wanted to find a special use for a bottle of vanilla bean infused olive oil my friend Kelley and I made several weeks back, and I think I succeeded with this recipe. You’ll need to plan in advance, as the vanilla beans and olive oil need a few weeks together to develop the best flavor (see recipe notes on what to do if you absolutely cannot wait). But boy, is it worth it. Vanilla and olive oil make a great team.
After a long and hard winter, I’m loving spring, and looking forward to summer. And many bowls of homemade ice cream. And probably several more jars of vanilla bean olive oil.
baking tip:SCALDING MILK
When making a custard (which serves as the base for this ice cream recipe), it is necessary to scald the milk. This accomplishes two things: it dissolves the sugar, and when whisked into eggs it increases their temperature slowly and helps prevent curdling.
To scald milk, simply place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add milk, stir occasionally, and watch for steam and little bubbles to appear around the edges of the pan. Do not let the milk boil. Remove the pan from the heat and proceed with your recipe.
Vanilla Bean Olive Oil Ice Cream
- 1 ⅓ cup whole milk (330 ml, 10.5 fl oz)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- Pinch of salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml, 8 fl oz)
- ½ cup vanilla bean olive oil , plus additional for serving (125 ml, 4 fl oz)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Coarse sea salt , for serving
Vanilla Bean Olive Oil:
- 1 cup quality olive oil (250 ml, 8 fl oz)
- 2 vanilla bean pods
To make the Vanilla Bean Olive Oil:
- Pour the olive oil into a pint-sized jar or bottle. Use a paring knife to split open the vanilla pods, exposing the beans. Put the vanilla pods into the olive oil and top with a lid. Let sit for 3-4 weeks before using for best flavor, shaking the jar at least once a week.
To make the ice cream:
- Combine the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Heat until steaming and little bubbles appear around the edges.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour in the scalded milk in a slow, steady stream, while whisking constantly. When fully combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Cook, while stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla, followed by the vanilla bean olive oil, whisking vigorously until it is incorporated. Chill completely.
- Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Scoop ice cream into a large bowl and let firm up in the freezer for a few hours before serving. Serve with additional olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- No need to buy a very expensive olive oil, but try to use a quality fruity olive oil for the best flavor.
- It is possible to make the recipe without first making the vanilla bean olive oil. After heating the milk mixture, insert a vanilla bean that has been cut open lengthwise. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove pod and reheat mixture until steaming. Proceed with the recipe, substituting regular olive oil for the vanilla bean olive oil.