Olive oil gelato

Olive oil is a big deal in Tuscany. All my neighbours have their own olive grove and everyone gets very serious when you start discussing the merits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

My father-in-law has almost 30 trees and every October we brave the cold to pick each ripe black olive to take to the frantoio or olive oil mill.

Usually fresh olive oil is saved for bruschettas and tomato salads, but I wanted to use it in something sweet since I can’t resist a good dessert. Gelato isn’t exactly a winter treat unless you serve it with a chocolate fondant cake fresh from the oven… like I did!


What does olive oil gelato taste like? You’d think strange, but it’s actually really smooth and earthy. The flavour is similar to tart peaches. It’s not too savoury even with a sprinkle of sea salt on top.

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You’ll need
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
1 cup pouring cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
sea salt, for serving

Whisk the sugar and eggs in an electric mixer until foaming and thick (about 7 minutes). Slowly pour in the olive oil as if you’re making mayo. Don’t pour it all in at once or you’ll have a mess of separated eggs and clumpy bits.

Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour into a plastic container and place in the freezer. Take the mixture out every hour and whisk with a fork to break up any big chunks of ice. Your ice cream won’t be as smooth using this method, but it’s just as delicious.

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Serve with a sprinkle of salt on top!

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