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

By Stefani McGuiness
August 27, 2012
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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.
The Editors

Makes: about 1 quart
Prep time: 5 hrs
Cook time: 20 min

For the olive oil-saffron ice cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup 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

  • 1/2 cup strained, fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup 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.

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