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Olive Oil Ice Cream Recipe with Meyer Lemon Zest

olive oil ice cream

Plenty of egg yolks and a deep golden olive oil tint this ice cream a beautiful pale yellow. Warming the Meyer lemon zest with the cream and milk gives the custard a sweet, bright taste and a delicate perfume, and silky olive oil lends its unique flavor and luxurious mouthfeel.

Olive Oil Ice Cream Recipe with Meyer Lemon Zest

Makes 1 quart 


11 ⁄ 2 cups whole milk
11 ⁄4 cups heavy cream
Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
7 large egg yolks
2 ⁄3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 ⁄ 3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving


In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and lemon zest. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture barely comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume, about 2 minutes.

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From the Organic Authority Files

Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the resulting egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and place over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1–2 minutes. Do not let it boil.

Meanwhile, set up an ice bath in a large bowl and nest a smaller heatproof bowl inside. Pour the warm custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller bowl; stir occasionally until cool. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, stir in the olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Pour the cold custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and place parchment or waxed paper directly on the surface. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. When ready to serve, scoop into bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil.

Reprinted with permission from “Ice Creamery Cookbook.” Photography by Erin Kunkel. Copyright 2014 by Weldon Owen Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

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