Olive Oil-Saffron Ice Cream with Burnt Orange-Caramel Swirl

By • August 27, 2012 • 37 Comments


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Author Notes: Olive Oil ice cream base from "Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home", less the salted pepitas, plus saffron threads. Swirled with Burnt Orange-Caramel Sauce. Stefani McGuiness

Food52 Review: WHO: Stefani McGuiness is a new Food52 user -- this is her first recipe!
WHAT: An ice cream that literally has layers of flavor -- the addictive orange caramel and savory-sweet olive oil and saffron ice cream are alternated in their container before freezing.
HOW: Jeni's classic base is augmented with a pinch of saffron and a swirl of olive oil, and the caramel is a matter of a few minutes' simmering on the stovetop.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Orange, olive oil, and saffron may bring to mind a paella more than dessert, but they pack quite a punch together in this ice cream.
A&M

Makes about 1 quart

Olive Oil-Saffron Ice Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1.5 ounces cream cheese
  • .25 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • .5 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • .25 cups olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crush saffron threads
  1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a bowl. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  2. Mix the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch-milk mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil with a heatproof spatula, thicken slightly, about a minute. Remove from the heat.
  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the olive oil until well blended. Crush the saffron threads between your fingers into the mixture and stir to distribute the threads. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge sealed bag into the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
  4. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating layers with the Burnt Orange-Caramel Sauce. Work quickly, or the caramel sauce will start to sink. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of the freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Burnt Orange-Caramel Sauce

  • .5 cups strained, fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • .5 cups cream
  1. Combine the strained, fresh squeezed orange juice, the sugar, and salt to a sauce pan over medium-high heat. I used about 1 and a half oranges. Boil the mixture until the sugar and orange juice thicken and turn honey-colored, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Still on the burner, add the cream and stir to combine, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Comments (37) Questions (0)

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2 months ago dcremerssf

This recipe write clearly has a lot of attitude or simply doesn't know how to communicate (quantity of ingredients)

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3 months ago Hark

I wish I had rad the comments before making this, because I definitely would have halved the caramel sauce. I also had some trouble getting my cream cheese to blend smoothly, but that may be because I used cheap generic cream cheese. Nonetheless, this was delicious. Light flavor, not too sweet, beautiful colors. I just saved the leftover sauce for poached pears later in the week. Yum!

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4 months ago Mlouise

Made this today...first, I took a half cup of the milk and infused the saffron, a very generous amount...secondly I had saffron salt in the pantry so I used that to further intensify the flavor.
There seemed to be more of the burnt orange sauce than was needed for the amount of ice cream. Maybe next time, I will let the ice cream freeze for a little before adding the sauce or wait and assemble it as an old fashioned parfait. At any rate, the flavor was AWESOME!

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5 months ago Mae

This recipe looks and sounds very good, but I feel like missed something...step 4 - "Pour the ice cream into the frozen canister..." What canister? Do I need to buy something special for this?

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5 months ago baschwar

Canisters of your ice cream maker.

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5 months ago vassoula Papadias

You mean 25 cups olive oil, 25 teaspoons salt or I misundestood something?

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5 months ago Stellamom

It's .25 cup olive oil (1/4 cup) etc. Hard to see the decimal points in the recipe and somewhat unconventional way of writing measurements!

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5 months ago vassoula Papadias

Thanks!Thanks!

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5 months ago Stellamom

yes, please clarify the cornstarch amount
thanks!

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5 months ago bunten

I just checked the original recipe in a bookstore. The proper cornstarch measurement is 1 tablespoon PLUS 1 teaspoon, or 4 teaspoons in total.

1.5 oz. cream cheese is 3 tablespoons.

The original recipe omits the saffron and adds 1 cup salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

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5 months ago Stellamom

Thank you! I've made a lot of ice cream base over the years but have never used cornstarch but rather egg yolks to thicken and enrich. I'm interested to see how the cornstarch works.

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5 months ago bunten

How much cornstarch does this recipe really call for? 1 T? 1 t? 1 T+1 t?

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8 months ago Ron

Can't wait to make this. Does anyone know where I can get the beautiful custard cup in the picture?? I have looked everywhere I can think of. Thanks.

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10 months ago mudpuppy

Stefani McGuiness
For the caramel, I know only use a squirt of of orange juice to get the caramel going. Once the caramel is dark to your liking, zest the entire orange into the caramel. I also doubled the amount of saffron in the ice cream for a stronger flavor.

Sadie_crop

9 months ago Diana B

The recipe still says to use a half-cup of orange juice in the sauce, which I guess I think is more than just a squirt, and I don't see anything about zest, so do your changes actually show in the recipe above? If not, I would want to make changes to the recipe as I've printed it out. Thanks!

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3 months ago Hark

I felt like the orange flavor wasn't very strong, so I think zesting the orange would be a great addition to this recipe.

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10 months ago Larry Andersen

How would this recipe change if you had an ice cream maker? Or would this be blasphemy? Would I be able to just use the hot mixture and let the ice cream maker do all the work from there?

Looking forward to making this.

Thanks.

Stringio

11 months ago Stefani McGuiness

Thank you, everyone for all of your encouraging notes. I have made a few updates to the recipe since adding it to the site. For the caramel, I know only use a squirt of of orange juice to get the caramel going. Once the caramel is dark to your liking, zest the entire orange into the caramel. I also doubled the amount of saffron in the ice cream for a stronger flavor.

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12 months ago neighome

A lovely combination of my favorite flavors. Thanks for the brilliant recipe! (Based on some of the comments, I started with just 1/2 tsp saffron, but found a full tsp works better for me).

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over 1 year ago baschwar

My caramel came out very runny, not like a true caramel... any ideas why? It let the sugar/juice boil for about 8 minutes...

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9 months ago Marcela Boher

Let the mixture reaches 103 degrees Celsius and it will be ready and not to runny...

Johnwalker

over 1 year ago shiftins

Wow this looks amazing!

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over 1 year ago IndianaJoan

Hi! I used about 7/8 of a teaspoon. I agree that if I made it again I would probably use about 1/8 of a teaspoon and a teaspoon of lemon zest. Thanks for your response five and spice.

Sausage2

over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hi! I made this last night, and wow, it is flavorful and interesting. I'm just wondering though, how exactly did you measure the saffron? Did you really use a whole teaspoon crushed? I couldn't bring myself to use that much and probably used only about 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed, and still the ice cream had extremely strong saffron flavor. Like, really strong. I love saffron, but I can imagine it would be overwhelming for a lot of people. I also agree with IndianaJoan that next time I'm going to cook the caramel for a longer time. Mine was yummy, but I didn't manage to take it to the point of getting that nice burned sugar flavor!

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over 1 year ago IndianaJoan

I followed this recipe exactly as written. I made this today and was disappointed with the flavor of the ice cream. The texture was great and the caramel was a winner. Next time I will cook the caramel a little longer for a darker color and a thicker texture.

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over 1 year ago Courtney Pollock

Congrats on the win! After living in Spain for 5.5 years, saffron and olive oil are definitely some of my favorite combinations. Looking forward to trying this recipe soon.

Sausage2

over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations on your win! I can't wait to give this recipe a try.

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over 1 year ago Cinnamin

Congratulations on winning with your very first post! Saffron adds such a lovely colour and fragrance to anything it touches. I have never made ice cream before; I do not have an ice cream maker. Have a technical query- in step 3, will the cream cheese curdle if the milk mixture is too hot?