Some 10 years ago, we had our first taste of olive oil gelato. It was the creation of Meredith Kurtzman, pastry chef at Mario Battali’s Otto restaurant in New York City.
It was a revelation—so creamy and luscious. We kept going back for more. The following year, Mario Battali kindly published The Babbo Cookbook, providing us with the recipe (below).
If you don’t have time to make it, try pouring extra virgin olive oil over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make sure it’s top quality and fresh (oil begins to oxidize when the bottle is opened, so if you don’t use it often, buy small bottles).
Create a sundae by adding shaved chocolate* (more elegant than chocolate chips) or other garnishes (berries, candied nuts, chopped brittle, toffee pieces or whatever catches your eye). We often add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
Why is this recipe called gelato instead of ice cream? How do they differ?
Olive oil adds creaminess to ice cream.
Photo by Miskolin | IST.
The simple answer is that gelato uses more milk than cream, and is more dense (less overrun, or air, is beaten in than with ice cream—but you can’t control the overrun with a home ice cream maker). Here’s the full scoop on the difference between gelato and ice cream.
OLIVE OIL GELATO RECIPE
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (use the best and freshest you can)
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Optional garnishes (see above)
Yield: 2 pints.
1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the whip attachment to beat them for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until the mixture is thick and very pale and forms a ribbon when the whip is lifted.
2. Continue beating and drizzle in the olive oil; beat for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the milk and cream and continue to beat until all ingredients are combined.
4. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Place in the freezer in a covered container until frozen, about 4 hours or overnight.
5. Serve plain, with a garnish (see above), or à la mode with your favorite cake, pie or brownie.
Here’s an Olive Oil Ice Cream recipe with shaved Parmesan cheese.