A Taste of Yellow: Lemon-Olive Oil Ice Cream with Lemon Rosemary Cornmeal Shortbread

As many of you know if you read my post on Carli’s Bees Cheese, cancer has had a big impact on our family. We have lost those dear to us, and have others who have fought and won their battles. So, when I read about the Taste of Yellow blogging event, to help raise awareness for Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG day, of course I was going to participate.


    LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s (LAF) grassroots advocacy initiative to unify people affected by cancer and to raise awareness about cancer survivorship issues on a national level and in local communities across the country. LIVESTRONG Day 2007 will occur on Wednesday, May 16.

The event, created by a fabulous lady and food blogger deeply touched by cancer, Barbara of Winos and Foodies, is a call to attention through what we food bloggers do best… cooking and sharing our stories. It’s also an opportunity to donate to the cause, and join in other LIVESTRONGevents. I’ve decided to donate all proceeds raised by ads on this blog between May 1 and LIVESTRONG Day, May 16th. It may not be much, but every little bit counts! (Update: Total donation as of 5/8 is $30Total donation as of 5/14 is $42)

And, of course, I have a recipe… two actually… all decked out in yellow to share. The first comes from David Lebovitz’s new book, The Perfect Scoop. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find the recipe for Olive Oil Ice Cream as I was browsing through the book… I had my first taste of the stuff at Sitka and Spruce about a month ago, and fell in love with it. I knew making my own would be on the docket for this summer, but how perfect to find the recipe just as I was looking for something yellow to make. I went with the Lemon-Olive Oil variation, to bump up the yellow quotient a bit more. Oh me, oh my. This is good stuff.

David’s suggestion was to pair the ice cream with a good, chocolate sauce… and of course, the man knows his chocolate, and I’m sure it would be divine. But, I wanted even more yellow to the dish, and got the idea of a cornmeal shortbread cookie stuck in my head. The nubby savory sweet flavor of the cornbread seemed like just a fantastic match for the creamy, fruity ice cream. With a few modifications to the orange cornmeal shortbread recipe that I found in The Last Course, I was in business. I swapped out the orange for more lemon, a quick squeeze of lemon juice for the vanilla, and added in some freshly picked, coarsely chopped rosemary. Other herbs would be great too… I had a hard time choosing between the rosemary, sage or fresh basil. In fact, I might have to make more just to try out the other flavors.

I like the shortbread just tucked into the ice cream as a garnish, but it’s also great crumbled up as a cookie topping and then lightly mixed in as the ice cream starts to soften.

Lemon-Olive Oil Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, p 83

Note: Make sure that you use the really good olive oil, something with a really fruity rather than a really olivey flavor.

1/2 cup high quality olive oil
finely grated zest from one lemon
1 t lemon juice
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks

First, is your ice cream make ready to use?

In a small pan, heat the olive oil to just warm, add the lemon zest, and then remove from heat and set aside to cool and infuse.

In a non-reactive pan, combine the milk, sugar and salt and warm over medium heat until the sugar is well integrated and the milk is warm to the touch, stirring occasionally to prevent any scorching. Don’t bring it to a boil.

While the milk is heating, place the cream in a non-reactive, large bowl with a fine-mesh strainer above it, and get an ice bath ready to place that bowl into.

Separate the eggs, and place the yolks in a medium sized bowl. Give them a quick whisk. Then, start adding the warm milk mixture about a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking as you add it. When all the milk is incorporated, return the whole mixture to the milk pan. Return to heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens to coat the back of the spoon. Make sure that you keep the bottom from scorching. As soon as the mixture thickens, remove it from the heat, and pour it through the strainer, into the cream. Stir until combined, then add the olive oil, zest and lemon juice. Whisk until it is smooth. Then place the bowl into the ice bath to cool.

Once it reaches room temperature, cover and chill in the refrigerator. Then, freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions.

Lemon, Rosemary Cornmeal Shortbread
adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming, p 88

Makes 8 wedges

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 t finely chopped fresh rosemary
zest from 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice
1 scant cup flour
3 T coarse cornmeal
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a medium sized round tart or cake pan with parchment.

Mix together the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add rosemary, zest and juice and beat to combine well. Continue to beat, and add the flour, cornmeal and salt. The batter will be quite thick.

Press the batter into lined pan, and spread as evenly as possible. Score the dough into 8 wedges with a knife, and then prick each piece with a fork.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the shortbread is a light, pale golden color. Remove from heat, and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Then, cut along the knife marks to separate the pieces. Lift the shortbread out (carefully) with the parchment, and let cool for another 20 to 30 minutes on a wire rack.