If you ask me, one of the best things about Christmas is waking up and watching the snow fall outside your window, lying warm in your bed, knowing that there's nothing you have to do all day. Nothing you can do all day, aside from watch movies and eat Chinese food. This year, I figured this would all be the same, only without the snow. It hadn't snowed all month.
But when I woke up, I lifted my head, looked out the window, and there it was. It didn't last long. The snowflakes drifted by just long enough to get me into the holiday spirit and into the kitchen. I turned on a Christmas playlist (quietly, since I had house guests) and danced around my pantry, surveying my breakfast options. Belgian waffles. A frittata. Maybe I'd make some poffertjes. I looked at my flours, then to my sugars, and then I reached for the olive oil. We'll have bagels for breakfast. I'm making ice cream.
Olive oil ice cream. One of my house guests had requested it, and I'm glad she did. It has this creaminess that is so effortless and buttery. I hadn't made this flavor since July, and I was so excited about it that I started to sing "it's beginning to look a lot like ice cream" as it churned. Usually I'm alone when I change the words to make songs about ice cream, but this time I had friends around to point out what a big dork I am.
Lemon Olive Oil Ice Cream
Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.
There are lots of options with this ice cream. If you want a subtler lemon, you can leave out the lemon syrup. If you like poppyseeds, you can either mix them in at the end of churning or sprinkle them on top. Whatever you choose, use a high-quality olive oil, and the result will be delicious.
For lemon syrup:
1/4 cup lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1 tablespoon sugar
For ice cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
optional: 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
Before you make the base...
- Remove the zest of two lemons in large strips with a vegetable peeler. Set the zest aside. Then, combine the measured lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a bowl and let it cool in the fridge.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of milk into a slurry.
- Measure out the whipped cream cheese and sea salt into a medium bowl (if you don't have whipped cream cheese, you can whisk the two together).
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, corn syrup, lemon zest, and remaining milk and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. While you're waiting for it to boil, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set it aside. Boil the mixture for four minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn't boil over. Remove from heat and slowly add the cornstarch slurry, whisking constantly.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil for approximately one minute, or until it's slightly thickened. Remove from heat and gradually whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese, starting with a very small amount to make sure the mixture is perfectly smooth. Add the olive oil and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag, and place the bag in the prepared ice bath until fully cooled. This usually takes about 30 minutes, and you'll need to add more ice as it melts. If you don't want to churn the ice cream right away, you can cool the mixture in the fridge overnight.
- Discard the lemon zest and pour the mixture into your frozen canister (I do so by cutting a hole in the bottom corner of the bag). Add the lemon syrup and churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Optional: In the last minute of churning, add poppyseeds.
- Pack the ice cream into a quart-sized or two pint-sized containers, press parchment paper on top, and seal the container with an airtight lid. After 4+ hours in the freezer, your ice cream will be ready to eat.