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Preserved Lemon Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Preserved Lemon Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

A drizzle of olive oil and pinch of flaky sea salt add a wonderful, rich subtleness and contrasting texture to this sweet and salty ice cream. Seek out a light-bodied, fruity olive oil that will not only play off the sweetness of the cream but also balance the savory cured lemons. Preserved lemons can be found in the international food aisles of most grocery stores or specialty food markets, or you can make your own.
Servings 4


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups crème fraîche
  • 5 teaspoons preserved lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons preserved lemon pulp finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt for garnish


  • ► Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set bowl in an ice bath.
  • ► Combine milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove pot from heat. Whisk together egg yolks in a small bowl. Whisk a small amount of warmed milk into yolk mixture. Whisking constantly, add a bit more warm milk to yolks. Add yolk mixture to pot with remaining milk.
  • ► Gently cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon. Strain custard into prepared bowl and stir to cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bowl from ice bath and refrigerate uncovered until custard has completely chilled, at least 2 hours.
  • ► Once chilled, stir in crème fraîche, preserved lemon juice, and vanilla. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Five minutes before ice cream is done, add preserved lemon pulp, a little at a time so it distributes evenly. Serve immediately for a soft-serve texture, or transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for a few hours to harden.
  • ► To serve, top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

Polina Chesnakova

Polina Chesnkova is a Seattle-based food writer, cooking class instructor, and the author of Hot Cheese: Over 50 Gooey, Oozy, Melty Recipes.

Bettina Makalintal

Bettina Makalintal is culture's former editorial assistant. With a background in the food industry and as a bike mechanic, she can often be found biking in search of new donut shops.

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