I was looking for a slightly savory ice cream to try to integrate more herbs and to complement the cornmeal cookies I made and so I started looking for different olive oil ice creams — I thought that might make for an interesting combination. As I sought them out, every recipe I came across had eggs as the base, which I was not excited to include, and so I decided to go out on my own and integrate aspects of the different ice cream flavors into a Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream, continuing to use Jeni’s vanilla ice cream as a base. When I shared some with my parents, they were a little hesitant, but I think they enjoyed it overall. The rosemary flavor was definitely strong, yet not overpowering. I wouldn’t have wanted to assume I was going to be eating a sweet ice cream and then had this flavor hit my palate, but knowing this was the flavor, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/3 c olive oil
To make the ice cream, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and rosemary in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes precisely. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Fish out the rosemary sprigs and stir in the olive oil. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
After churning, pack into a storage container. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least four hours.