Orange Blossom Olive Oil Ice Cream & Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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I’ve come to realize that I’m not very good at sitting still…maybe especially so now that I’ve cleared my calendar from any obligations as we wait for the arrival of our baby girl. Just a couple days shy of being 40 weeks pregnant and I’m still finding myself tinkering in the garden…and in the case of the 4th of July holiday…deciding to spend my day “resting” with some casual recipe development.

I blame my hobby of trying to eat all things sweet while I still can (or at least have the excuse to). My sugar tooth has been through the roof and ice cream specifically has become a major food group of mine…hey, baby needs calcium! Calcium is good!

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Last week, exploring my local Middle Eastern market (read: on the search for baklava), I came home with a bottle of orange blossom water and I just knew had to become…well, ice cream - obviously! After doing a little bit of research on flavor pairings, I thought it might be interesting to combine this flavor with olive oil.

Both delicate (but potentially overwhelming) flavors when it comes to dessert - the balance needed to be thoughtful… I thought serving it with some pistachio shortbread cookies would be thoughtful as well. Besides, I had previously experimented making a batch of said shortbread cookies and they were just waiting to be turned into mini ice cream sandwiches.

This is how my mind works lately people, and I am not sorry about it.

Not expecting this kitchen experiment to turn out so gosh darn delightful on the first go - I wasn’t going to post the recipe at all (let alone the next day). But after some interest on instagram, I think that IT IS worth sharing…

The flavors are incredibly unique - floral, delicate, sweet but a touch of savory. It’s an incredibly light ice cream that I think would be astonishing on top of your typical vanilla topped desserts (think fruit pies and cobbler). Whether you decide to pair this ice cream with the cookies or any other dessert at all, I think it’s definitely worth a try and hope these flavors inspire some new summer favorites!

Okay…I’m really going rest now…in the garden planting an entire flat of zinnias. xox

Orange Blossom Olive Oil Ice Cream


  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup plus 2 TBS sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean pod

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (quality, light and floral finishing oil recommended)

  • 1 1/2 TBS orange blossom water


Add milk, cream, salt, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla pod & bean paste to a sauce pan on medium until liquid comes to just a simmer. Remove from heat.

In a bowl whisk, egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar together. Add 1/3 of hot milk milk mixture and wisk well.

Add egg & milk mixture back into remaining milk mixture and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Remove, pour into a bowl whisking in olive oil and orange blossom water. Place into ice bath to immediately cool. Store in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove vanilla pod and use your ice cream machine to specified directions. I very much enjoy the kitchenaid ice cream attachment for the stand mixer (one less appliance to find a place for - can I get an amen?!) Freeze ice cream over night for best results before serving.

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Pistachio Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Add dry ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until fully incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until dough forms. Roll dough into a an 8 - 12 inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or over night.

Preheat oven to 325F, remove dough from fridge and cut into 1/4 inch coins. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 18 minutes. Allow to cool on rack before serving with ice cream.

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