`Olive Oil Ice Cream with Caramelized Dates - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Caramelized Dates

Discover how olive oil enhances the flavor and final texture of ice cream in this fruity and fragrant dessert.
Olive Oil Ice Cream with Caramelized Dates
Olive Oil Ice Cream with Caramelized Dates
By Christina Mercado
Nov. 9, 2020 07:49 UTC

Ice cream is the per­fect dessert, no mat­ter what time of year. Creamy and rich, it both pairs well with and car­ries many fla­vors — from fruits to spices. At its heart, it is a sim­ple crème anglaise (French for English Cream”) con­sist­ing of just cream, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. But begin­ning with those four bases leaves us with many pos­si­bil­i­ties!

The vanilla can be switched with spices, the milk can be infused, or you can add in choco­late or fruits at the end. But we can take it even one step fur­ther. Some of the fat can be sub­sti­tuted with a qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil for exam­ple, which will com­pletely change not only the fla­vor but the final tex­ture of the ice cream. Discover the effects of olive oil on our favorite cold dessert in this recipe!


Olive Oil Ice Cream with Caramelized Dates

Course: DessertCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Advanced


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



This recipe replaces some of the fat in a tra­di­tional ice cream base with the fra­grant and fruity extra vir­gin olive oil. The hint of lemon and sea salt fur­ther high­lights the vibrant notes in the oil.

Sweet and spiced dates are paired with this rich ice cream to add another layer of fla­vor. Be sure to check out the notes for the rec­om­mended olive oil, as well as tips on turn­ing your ice cream into a caramelized date swirl! (Note: dates must be made a day ahead if you’d like to try this tech­nique)


  • 10 1/4ozheavy cream

  • 8 1/2ozmilk

  • 3pieceslemon zest (large strips)

  • 4eachegg yolks

  • 2ozextra vir­gin olive oil

  • 4 3/4ozsugar (plus 1 Tbsp)

  • 1/4tspsea salt

  • Caramelized Dates
  • 12ozfresh dates

  • 5ozbrown sugar

  • 1/4piecevanilla bean

  • 1Tbspcar­damom, pods

  • 1/2tspcloves, whole

  • 1/8tspsea salt


  • Olive Oil Ice Cream
  • In a small pot, heat heavy cream and milk with lemon zest until just about a sim­mer. Be care­ful not boil the cream as it will sep­a­rate.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, olive oil and lemon zest until pale. (Tip: do not do this step too early as the sugar will begin to cook the yolks)
  • When cream comes to tem­per­a­ture, tem­per into the eggs by slowly pour­ing the hot cream into egg yolk mix­ture while con­stantly stir­ring. Once fully com­bined, strain liq­uid back into the pot.
  • Over medium heat, and while con­stantly stir­ring, cook the mix­ture until it is slightly thick­ened and able to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 160 °F)
  • Strain the ice cream base into a con­tainer and cool for at least one hour, and up to overnight before churn­ing.
  • Following the steps to your ice cream machine, churn your ice cream. Be sure to allow the ice cream time to set in the freezer (at least one hour after churn­ing) in order to let it set com­pletely before serv­ing (see notes).
  • Caramelized Dates
  • Combine dates and sugar in a small bowl and cover. Let sit 24 hours before con­tin­u­ing to the next step.
  • The next day, drain the liq­uid and add water until you reach 2 cups of liq­uid.
  • Add the dates, spices, and salt to the liq­uid. Cook until a sim­mer, and then cook an addi­tional 30 min­utes. Strain the dates from the pan and con­tinue to cook the liq­uid until it reaches 218 °F. Remove from heat and strain out spices.
  • Add the dates back to the syrup and allow to cool com­pletely before use. Store in an air­tight con­tainer in the fridge.
  • To Serve
  • Scoop ice cream into a bowl and driz­zle caramelized date syrup with pieces on top.


  • Try this recipe with a del­i­cate oil such as Arbequina which will add a beau­ti­ful fruit and green almond note to this rich ice cream!
  • For a dif­fer­ent ice cream expe­ri­ence, try swirling the can­died dates and syrup into the ice cream! Before freez­ing, fold some of the syrup and caramelized dates into the ice cream. Do not over mix as you’ll lose air and warm the mix­ture, which will make it denser.

Discover more recipes with extra virgin olive oil.


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