Maggie Pond’s Olive Oil Ice Cream with EVOO-Fried Churros

Some people raise their eyebrows when we sing the praises of olive oil ice cream. But once they’ve tried it, these folks typically become true believers. Maggie Pond has her own set of true believers at the Bay Area restaurant where she cooks. One New Year’s Eve, she served an ice cream made with Arbequina extra virgin olive oil.

“It was such a hit on New Year’s we put it on the menu,” said Pond, the chef at César, which has locations in Berkeley and Oakland.

Pond and her staff, I should note, are what you might call EVOO fanatics. “We bathe in it at César,” she joked during a cooking demonstrating at our recent Harvest Retreat. “We go through several gallons a week.”

Pond was preparing her Arbequina ice cream as well as churros deep-fried in Arbequina. The two made an outstanding conclusion to our lunch.

Pond makes the ice cream using milk instead of cream. “We’re making up that fat with the olive oil,” Pond said, noting the dish isn’t truly “ice cream” because of the milk. The ingredients, which are placed in an ice cream maker, also include sugar, eggs and a pinch of salt. (Click here for the Arbequina olive oil ice cream recipe.)

Pond accompanied the ice cream with the churros, a doughnut-like pastry. Pond said hers were a variation of Spanish churros. (Click here to get the churros recipe.) This fried dish, like others we’ve had, demonstrated how you can deep-fry foods in extra virgin olive oil.

To make the churros, use a small 5- to 6-inch heavy bottom pot or sauce pan filled with about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of EVOO. Heat the oil over medium heat until the temperatures reaches about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s below the 410 degree F. “smoke point” at which a good EVOO begins to break down.

During her demonstration, Pond used a churro press to pipe the dough into the hot Arbequina. She fried  the churros until they became a rich golden color.

After removing the churros and draining them on paper towel-lined plate, roll them in cinnamon sugar and serve them with the ice cream.

Your guests, if they aren’t already, will become true believers.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch