One of the most popular recipes on P&H is for a super decadent vegan Salted Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream that I made a few years ago. I had no clue how that recipe would go over—extra virgin olive oil in ice cream? Was that too out there? But back when Aaron and I were living in San Francisco, we had tried the most perfectly bitter and sweet chocolate ice cream, sprinkled with flaky sea salt and topped with extra virgin olive oil. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
As someone who basically lives for ice cream, this dessert was life-changingly good. When we moved back to Boston, I decided to make my own version. I went all out and used extra virgin olive oil in the ice cream, as well as for the topping. It was the best ice cream I had ever made.
Realizing that not everyone loves chocolate ice cream, this summer I tried my hand at making a new spin: Vanilla Bean Olive Oil Ice Cream. It’s classic, but with a twist, which essentially describes all of my favorite things in life. And much like my original Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream, this non-dairy ice cream recipe is simple and all about the ingredients and the method I’ve detailed below.
The full-fat coconut milk base produces a luxuriously creamy texture, with notes of fruity extra virgin olive oil and real vanilla bean flecks sprinkled throughout. It’s lightly sweetened with a combination of coconut sugar and coconut nectar, both of which have the benefit of being lower glycemic in addition to tasting great (think brown sugar with a hint of caramel).
I couldn’t resist topping my ice cream with a homemade coconut oil chocolate magic shell, but of course it’s equally dreamy enjoyed plain or with a small pour of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
- 2 (14 ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut nectar
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- ⅓ cup fruity extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons vodka (optional)
- Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, and salt to a medium saucepan.
- Press the vanilla bean pod so it lies flat on a cutting board. Carefully slice down the entire length with a sharp knife and open. Use the back of your knife to scrape out the caviar-like seeds and add them to the saucepan. Whisk to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Let boil for 1 minute and continue to whisk constantly. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and vodka and allow to cool on the counter for 45 minutes, then refrigerate until cold (about 1 hour).
- Once chilled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (about 20 minutes) until just frozen. The texture will resemble soft-serve.
- Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, laying parchment paper along the top to prevent ice crystals, and allow it to harden in the freezer for 3-4 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency.
- To serve, let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, then scoop and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil if you like.
This recipe is excellent served with Raw Chocolate Magic Shell.