Cooking From Every Angle

Olive Oil Gelato

By • April 1, 2011 • 37 Comments

Olive Oli Gelato

- Amanda

The apotheosis of Mario Batali's cooking and the Mediterranean diet is, in my dessert-loving view, the olive oil gelato at Otto. It's as smooth as aioli, pulsing with green olive flavor, and has sugar and salt dueling in the background.

Batali published a recipe for it in Molto Gusto -- it can be found on Serious Eats. The recipe, though good sounding, seemed like it would produce something richer and sweeter than I remember. As I fumbled through my cookbooks, I came across another version in Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati by Robin and Caroline Weir.

The Weirs are the foremost authorities on frozen desserts, and this book is the culmination of all of their research. And yet, I was also skeptical of their recipe, which calls for water in the custard, no cream or salt, and a whole lot of olive oil.

I was wrong about the custard -- it makes for a lovely thin yellow sauce (I did add a large pinch of salt). After chilling it overnight I whisked in olive oil to taste. The custard drank the oil like a good, dense mayonnaise, getting thicker and smoother with each stroke of the whisk. But after 6 tablespoons of oil -- the Weirs call for 12 -- I called it quits, and churned the gelato as is.

When something is good, you don't always want to share it. But you'll know when something you've made is really great, because you want everyone you know to taste it. Want to come by?

Olive Oil Gelato

Adapted from Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati by Robin Weir and Caroline Weir

Serves 2 to 4 (you can double the recipe if you want more)

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Large pinch salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil (preferably Arbequina; I used Frantoia Barbera)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati

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Comments (37)

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about 3 years ago hong_pham

We just made this and it turned out fabulous. We didn't think the 2 extra tbs of olive oil was too much at all, but then again, that might depend on your brand and taste. We actually made several batches and in one batch, experimented with a the idea of a salad dressing gelato...we know that sounds weird but we incorporated a balsamic reduction swirl...thus oil n vinegar gelato! we love the tangy sweetness it brings to counter the rich butteryness of the olive oil.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Very cool.

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over 3 years ago jankak

Excuse me, I mean Bulgarinis! in Altadena.

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over 3 years ago jankak

The olive oil frozen yoghurt at Bulgatis in Altadena, CA is beyond wonderful. All the gelatos are great, but the olive oil is the best.

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over 3 years ago Brsboarder

Has anyone tried this and the serious eats one? I would love thoughts on preferences and why

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It's a hit! I took it to my friend this afternoon, and we both had to dig into it. At the first bite, her eyes grew huge, and as it melted on her palate her jaw slackened, her shoulders relaxed, and then she yelled to her husband, "You've GOT to try this!"

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over 3 years ago lajuliaficationdumonde

Oh yum! I love olive oil gelato. I had an amazing one at Terroni's in LA served alongside their salted caramel crostada. Pretty incredible. I can't wait to make this! Thanks Amanda!

Do you have any suggestions for a European gelato recipe? Tart deliciousness? I used to love going to Pazzo Gelato and getting that with their ricotta sour cherry gelato but alas I have moved to San Francisco and have yet to find a gelato place as delightful as that. Sure, Bi Rite creamery is delicious, but it doesn't have the amazing breadth of interesting flavors that I could discover at Pazzo.

If anyone has suggestions about that too, I'm all ears! Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Have you tried Humphrey Slocum?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Misspelled it -- here's the link: http://www.humphryslocombe...

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over 3 years ago lajuliaficationdumonde

Not yet but I will now! Thanks Amanda!

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over 3 years ago zingyginger

much as i like the creativity with flavors at humphryslocombe (you have to try their secret breakfast-cornflakes & bourbon), i've been there a couple of times and both the ones i've sampled and purchased were a tad icy. have you tried scream sorbet? it's hard to believe they use no cream as their sorbets have very creamy mouth feel. they have a myriad of flavors i haven't seen elsewhere.

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Apple Fennel
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Coconut Kale
Cranberry Apple Cider
Concord Grape
White Guava
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Kabocha Coconut
Lemon Rosemary
Lemon Sage
Lemon Shiso
Lime Jasmine
Honey Mandarin
Satsuma Mandarin
Mandarin Lime
Meyer Lemon
*Macadamia Vanilla
Peanut Sesame
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Pistachio
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Strawberry
Strawberry Lemon
Vanilla Almond

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made the rush version, as I needed something to take as a hostess gift this afternoon, and I was set on taking this. Made the custard, did a rapid chill over icy water, emulsified the olive oil (which was beautiful), and spun it. If anything next time, and there will certainly be a next time, I'd use an even more generous pinch of salt. This is simply wonderful, and I'm already imagining ways of serving it. Thank you so much, Amanda!

Jaclyn

over 3 years ago foodpluswords

this sounds so very lovely! the color is divine, and the texture looks sumptuous. i can't wait to try this!

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over 3 years ago Nikolia

Any chance you can make without the ice cream machine?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You can make it without a machine but it will be icy. This is a little more complicated but you can make the base custard, whisk in the oil, and then fold in whipped meringue and whipped cream and freeze it so it's like a semi-freddo -- then you won't have any texture issues.

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over 3 years ago vvvanessa

that gelato is hands down the best thing on the menu at otto. and i'm a big fan of frantoia, too. thanks for sharing the recipe!

Niki

over 3 years ago saltandpeppersf

This has got to be my favorite dessert in life. And it's perfect timing since I'm flying into NY tomorrow so I am able to head over to Otto and have some!! Random, but a couple of NY trips ago I ran into Meredith Kurtzman at the bar at Lupa, except I didn't know it was her. We were chatting, and somehow got to talking about the olive oil gelato (I'm assuming I was rambling about how great it was bc that's what I do when I get excited!), and then she told me how it was her creation! Sadly she said it would be most difficult to achieve the same result with a normal ice-cream maker. I think she also said she used creme fraiche in her recipe, but I was on such a high from meeting the inventor of my favorite dessert that I honestly can't remember what more she said on the subject... maybe half creme fraiche, half cream? I know, I can't believe I've forgotten either! Foodie amnesia!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Definitely worth trying with some creme fraiche. I leaned toward the cream-less Weir recipe because I was afraid having both oil and cream in the mix would leave a greasy feeling on your palate, but Kurtzman has clearly had success with it.

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over 3 years ago italianchef

I was always skeptical about the Olive Oil Gelato thing, but you have sold me on trying it. Plus, you used my favorite olive oil.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, mine, too!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Wow, this sounds amazing! What a beautiful color. Thanks for sharing the recipe - I'm looking forward to trying this soon.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks.

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over 3 years ago Dina Avila

Olive oil gelato? Sounds like bliss...

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Try it!

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over 3 years ago deanna1001

Gorgeous. Making this over the weekend hoping for warmer weather!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you like it.

Ravenouscouple4

over 3 years ago ravenouscouple

fantastic, just got a bottle of arbequina and will definitely try this

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Want to hear how it goes -- don't add all the olive oil at once. Taste as you go, because you might want to stop before adding the full amount.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Uh oh . . . . I virtually always have in my kitchen everything needed to make this. Fascinating, and irresistible!! Thank you for sharing this. ;o)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Nice work on the pantry staples.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Now I'm craving gelato. Is it okay to go out and eat frozen desserts before it's even lunch time?!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

In my book, yes.

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

Does this taste like frozen Mayo? It looks great!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Sort of, yes.

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over 3 years ago innoabrd

That's what I love about food52, in this community, tasting like frozen mayo is a GOOD thing! I feel so, well, normal here....

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Wow...this sounds great, thanks for sharing it, Amanda!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Enjoy!