Saturday, January 2, 2010

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries

I'm going let you in on something my mother and I discussed this past Christmas vacation: the not-so-classy girl of 2009, soon to be 2010.  Call us old fashioned but whatever happened to having a sweet disposition?  Ever notice that now-a-days if you like vintage style clothes, vintage dressers or hair pins then it's a "style", it's not how you are.  Well, it's how I am.  It's how my mom is. It's how my best friend Stephanie is, and we are proud of it.  We like sweet.  We like vintage items, and our tastes are here to stay. Its 2010, and time to show the world just how classy we women can be.  Just how sweet. I'm not saying you have like vintage things to be sweet.  For we all know that being sweet comes from inside, not out.  But here's a good challenge.  Instead of just focusing on ways we can change, improve, and become better fit into 2010,  let's think about the parts of us that we want to keep. The things we like. That contribute to society. That encourage love and maintain peace with conviction.  Let's work on those things, too.  I have a sinking suspicion that if I did this, I would be so much less discouraged when I didn't change right away, and I would love myself just a bit more.

And speaking of women who have come before us, Deb must have been one of those.  This is her saucer that this Olive Oil Ice Cream is in. {I promise I'll get to the ice cream} I wonder where she lived.  What she did. What she loved, what made her laugh, when she cried, and if she liked ice cream.  I also wonder how she would feel that her saucer was sold to a humble baker in Orange County, California.  I doubt that that price reflects the memories that are wrapped up in that saucer, which is why I intend to keep the tag on.  I want Deb to know that this saucer is just as much hers as it is now mine.

Nice job, Deb cause look at how cute those feet are! And mom, kudos to you, you picked this out, and knew I would love it.  And frankly, I think that an elephant foot saucer is the perfect thing to put something as decadent as olive oil into. I love olive oil. And I hope that Deb would too.  This ice cream is a bit like my love for vintage things.  It feels like something new, yet has an old, familiar almost regal flavor.  It's unique, and part of you wants to tell everyone the name of the shop you got it and the other half wants to keep it to yourself, serving it in small portions, wistfully waving your hand when people ask where you got this recipe.  You don't know, it was just "something you had in your recipe book." Go ahead, say it.  I wont care. Shhh, I didn't make this recipe up either. I adapted it, but good ol' technique classes at Williams Sonoma has the patent on this recipe.

Give this a try.  It's odd, it's curious, and it's a reminder that some of the best flavors we can create are things that have been around forever.  I think you'll like it, and while you do, think about the things inside yourself you like. Encourage those. The rest, they can't live without breath.  Inhale.Exhale.Bite.Smile.Repeat.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries (Adapted from Williams Sonoma)
{makes 1 1/2 quarts}

3 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into medium pieces
enough balsamic vinegar to drown strawberries

In a large sauce pan, stir together cream and milk over medium heat.  Do not let this boil, only form small bubbles on the side of the pan.  In the mean time, beat egg yolks and sugar in mixer with whisk attachment on medium to high speed, until it's triple in size, which is about 5 minutes.  When this happens, it's so beautiful you will want to stop and take a picture.  I didn't and wish I did. So please do, and show me.  Remove milk and cream from heat, and pour 2 cups of milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture changing speed to medium-low.  Add in mixture 1/4 cup at a time and be sure to scrape the sides occasionally.  Mix each time until just combined.  Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream, making sure that it begins to mix into the egg/cream/milk/sugar mixture. Turn the heat on the stove back on to medium heat, and whisk new egg mixture into rest of cream and milk mixture at a slow, but steady pace.  You will see the oil trying to separate out.  No worries, that's just chemistry.  This need to cook for about 15 minutes, until it reaches 175 degrees.  The original recipe says to strain the mixture at this point into a new bowl. I did not do this.  I added a bit of texture to the ice cream, something that I like.  However, if you don't want texture, strain away.  Place pan into freezer for 30 minutes, allowing the mixture to cool.  Once cooled to room temperature or close to this (about 30 minutes) pour into freezer bowl for ice cream and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.  While churning, wash, hull and cut strawberries.  Place into a small bowl, douse in Balsamic Vinegar, and place into fridge.  Once Ice cream as been fully churned (about 35 minutes), fold in strawberries.  Place in an airtight container, and let freezer overnight.  Enjoy!  My mom put a bit of chocolate on it, and loved it.  I hope you will too!


  1. I love this post as I I have been thinking along those lines. The ice cream is fascinating and definitely worth a try. Right now it is fifteen below 0 degrees F so I will book mark and wait till we warm up to - you know - eight degrees before I eat ice cream.

  2. Really lovely sentiment and I love the dish with its little feet and your musing about where it's been and what it has contained. The recipe and photo are brilliant as well.

    Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  3. The recipe looks wonderful and I love the little dish, and your musings about it.