Olive oil & mandarin gelato

Olive oil & mandarin gelato

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Makes
600 ml
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

Before I set off for New York, I trawled through every Best Dessert list I could find in every magazine and blog. Consistently, OTTO’s olive oil gelato was mentioned. The unique flavour has been on the menu at Mario Batali’s beloved Washington Square Italian restaurant since it opened nearly fifteen years ago, varying only with seasonal accompaniments. On our visit, it was paired with passionfruit granita, pomegranate sauce and pine nut brittle. We came back not long after for another one.

The revelatory flavour has also inspired a legion of sweet purveyors, including Marta’s olive oil affogato with honeycomb and cumquat, Narcissa’s winter sundae with olive oil ice cream and Meyer lemon curd, and Big Gay Ice Cream’s olive oil soft serve.

My rendition is adapted from the restaurant’s original recipe, but with more olive oil to play off the mandarin syrup I’ve swirled in. Make sure to use the best EVOO you can. For a plated dessert, segments of fresh mandarin and candied hazelnuts would go nicely.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
375ml milk
110g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
5 egg yolks
125ml pouring cream
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
sea salt flakes, to scatter

Mandarin syrup

Quantity Ingredient
110g caster sugar
125ml mandarin juice, (from about 3 mandarins)
60ml water

Method

  1. Prepare an ice bath in the sink or in a large heatproof bowl.
  2. Place the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and bring almost to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk mixture.
  3. Return the mixture to the pan and stir constantly over medium heat for 6 minutes or until the mixture reaches 75°C or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Transfer the pan to the ice bath and cool, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, then whisk in the cream and olive oil. Strain through a fine sieve into a container, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the mandarin syrup, place the sugar, mandarin juice and water in a saucepan over medium–high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then cook for 8 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.
  6. Churn the base in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer half the ice cream to an airtight container, then pour over half the mandarin syrup and swirl once to combine. Repeat this process with the remaining ice cream and syrup, then freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Drizzle with extra olive oil and scatter with sea salt flakes to serve.
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