Summer is here. Ninety-degree plus temperatures have arrived, along with dust from the Saharan air layers that cross the Atlantic. Whereas by this time last year I was lamenting the non-stop rain, it would be a more than welcome these days. The grass is browning, the potted parsley wilting, my car is still filthy, and we find ourselves turning the A/C on most nights. With this heat, it seems fitting to enjoy a cold treat like this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, (Meyer lemon) olive oil ice cream.
Dorie Greenspan suggests using a fruity olive oil for this recipe, and since the Spanish oil I usually buy and cook with does not fit that description, I visited the local Marshalls/HomeGoods to find something suitable. It couldn’t get any fruitier than a Meyer lemon olive oil! The one I found smelled very strong, to the point where I reduced the suggested 2 teaspoons of vanilla down to just half a teaspoon. My favorite way to enjoy this ice cream – and to up the lemon flavor – was with a wee teaspoon of limoncello on top. If olive oil ice cream by itself sounded too grown-up, boozing it up makes it an even bigger treat for adults. I’ve had that bottle of limoncello in the freezer for a few years now – my parents brought it over for us on from vacation. It’s too bad I cannot say the same about the Meyer lemon olive oil. That was probably meant to be just a fleeting two-week affair. When I went back to the store looking for more, there weren’t any bottles left.
As for the recipe itself, I found myself wishing I had trusted my instincts in the directions department. Most ice cream recipes I’ve made call for bringing the milk and cream to a simmer, and then use the warm liquid to temper the eggs before adding them to the custard. I brought the milk and cream almost to a boil, and ended up with curdled yolks. The gut feeling I got at the supermarket telling me to pick up an extra dozen of eggs definitely paid off. I made the second batch of custard using ‘my’ usual method and it worked out perfectly. The ice cream froze within fifteen minutes after chilling the mixture for several hours. With so many egg whites left, I attempted to make some macarons using the allegedly foolproof Italian method. I overcooked most of them and ended up enjoying crisp and hollow, um, almond meringue cookies. I’ll probably save the rest of the almond meal to coat fish filets.
The ice cream bowl already found its way back into the freezer, although we still have more than a pint of ice cream left. Without the Meyer lemon olive oil, I can’t see myself making this again and enjoying it as much. I hope my fellow Doristas prove me wrong – I’m off to check their links here.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s award-winning cookbook Around My French Table, taking on one recipe every week.