Every year I bring a whole case of my favorite olive oil from Spain back home with me. It is a very fruity and mild olive oil made from Arbequina Olives that tastes best when you just dip your bread in it or drizzle it over grilled vegetables or fish. In this case I used it to make this incredible olive oil gelato. With a little bit of flaky sea salt you will have a fantastic dessert.
I served the ice cream with Tortas de Aceite, a recipe from Jamie Oliver. These cookies are incredibly easy to make and so different from every other cookie that you might know. The key ingredient in these cookies is fennel seed, there is hardly any sugar in the recipe and they have a delicate olive oil taste. Try them yourself and let me know what you think!
Olive Oil Gelato
(food52, serves 2 - 4)
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 cups whole milk
Large pinch salt
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
In a medium-size saucepan stir together the sugar, water, milk, and salt and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks until frothy. Continue beating whilst pouring in the combined liquids in a thin stream, then return the mixture to the pan. Carry on stirring with the pan over a low to moderate heat until the custard thickens to a loose custard sauce consistency or reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (Take your time and take the pan off the heat, if needed, because you don't want to scramble the egg). Immediately pour the custard into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice water bath. Stir until the mixture is cool. Transfer to a lidded container, and refrigerate overnight. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin steady stream -- the mixture should thicken and turn smooth. Taste the mixture and decide if you want to add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil -- the oil flavor will become more prominent as the ice cream ages, so keep this in mind. Churn in an ice cream maker following manufacturer's instructions. Eat right away, or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.
Tortas de Aceite (Olive Oil Biscuits)
Note: The cookies are best the day they are made
300g Type '00' flour (you can also use All Purpose Flour)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Spanish extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden caster sugar plus extra for dusting
1 x 7g sachet of dried yeast
icing sugar, for dusting
plain flour, for dusting
1 large egg white, preferably free range, beaten
Preheat the oven to 230°c. Mix the flour, salt and fennel seeds in a bowl. Pour 100ml of extra virgin olive oil into a jug with 150ml of warm water then add the golden caster sugar and yeast and mix well. Leave for a few minutes.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and slowly pour in the yeast mixture, using a fork gradually mix in the flour from the outside as you go. When it all starts to come together, use your hands to mix it into a lovely smooth dough.
Lightly oil two large baking trays, then dust them with icing sugar. Lightly flour a clean work surface and a rolling pin. Divide your dough into 12 equal-sized pieces and roll each one into a ball, then roll out each ball until it's about 10cm in diameter. Put these on your trays, and brush each one with some beaten egg white. Dust each biscuit lightly with icing sugar so they all have an even coating, and scatter over a little golden caster sugar.
Cook in the hot oven for around 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to wire racks to cool, then tuck in.