saying hello to june and olive oil ice cream

Oh, my. It’s June already. Wasn’t it just January?

I’m sitting here in a mostly quiet house, waiting for my family to get home from swimming lessons. It’s not completely quiet, you see, because we have a new addition to the family. Our little 4-month old, a fluffy grey Maine Coon kitten named Maggie, is darting back and forth under my feet as I sit at this desk, chasing a little ball and chirping at me, trying to get my attention. And she’s definitely getting attention. While she will never replace our Fritz, I’ve already fallen in love with the crazy little thing. We’ve all fallen in love with her.

I’m looking forward to this month. I’m headed to Chicago this weekend, a trip I look forward to each year – not only because I get to sleep in a hotel room all to myself, but because I get to hug my sister for the first time in months. We’ll celebrate Father’s Day towards the middle of the month. We’re making a quick weekend trip to Disney, and we’re staying at one of the hotels that I’ve had my eye on for a while. My mother and her twin sister celebrate their birthday at the end of the month, on the same day that Sam and I will have been married for 14 years.

And one last little thing to start June off right – the new website design.  I was in the mood for some serious spring cleaning around here, and the talented Lindsay of Purr Design and the blog, Love & Olive Oil, is behind this beautiful makeover. We’ve been working together for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve been lucky enough to meet her in person twice over the past two months. Not only is she incredibly creative but she is completely adorable and sweet as sugar.

And this month of June? It’s going to be a good month.

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olive oil ice cream | the merry gourmet

Speaking of olive oil, I made this olive oil ice cream over the weekend. If you’ve never had olive oil ice cream, you are missing out on quite a treat. I first had olive oil ice cream in Seattle last August when I was there for the IFBC. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, but over the past several months, especially as the temperatures have climbed into the 80s and 90s, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. A quick internet search revealed that the easiest way to satisfy this craving was through David Lebovitz‘s recipe, found in his book, The Perfect Scoop.

The recipe requires a great olive oil – one with real fruitiness. If you use a cheap, bland olive oil, you’ll be really disappointed in the result. I had a free sample of Roland olive oil (sent to me by Roland Foods) that worked beautifully, resulting in a well-balanced, perfectly creamy and lightly sweetened ice cream.

Do yourself a favor. Make this ice cream.

olive oil ice cream | the merry gourmet

olive oil ice cream

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup good olive oil

Directions:

You can find the full recipe with directions here and you should really buy David Lebovitz's book.

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12 Responses to “not just for birthdays: almond cake”

  1. Gah! This cake is gorgeous! It looks so moist and delicious… I want a piece right now.

    I’ve never heard of orange flower water, but now I’m intrigued! Another great post, my friend!

  2. brian @ howtobaker — June 30, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    What a delicious looking cake! I love how it uses almond paste and extract…I love almondy things. Thanks for sharing a fantastic looking dessert!

  3. Macaroni Mama — June 30, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    Merry Jennifer, when we picked you up from the baby sitters, you came running to the car shouting, “They made a cake and it wasn’t anybody’s birthday!” Unfortunately, I still didn’t bake cakes…except at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

  4. CC Recipe — June 30, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    This almond cakes looks so wonderful, I love how the inside looks so delicate and spongy!

  5. The Housewife — June 30, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    This looks so perfect that it makes me want to dig right in…it’s seems so warm and inviting! 🙂 Bookmarked your recipe!

  6. Gail — June 30, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

    Perfectly perfect. Beautifully formed crumb..no big tunnels from undermixing. *sniff sniff* I think I can smell the almond!

  7. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — June 30, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    Brian & Brian – Thanks! Orange flower water is something I discovered after listening to the Splendid Table podcast. She did a segment on it some time ago, and I immediately went out and purchased a bottle for baking with.

    Macaroni Mama (a.k.a. Mom!) – Yay for commenting! Welcome. 🙂

    CC Recipe – It really was the perfect texture. I feel lucky that it came out so well.

    The Housewife – Oh, you should definitely make this one.

    Gail – Means a lot coming from my Number One Cookie Woman (and professional baker!). Thanks. 🙂

  8. Jason Phelps — June 30, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

    Having a whole cake around is dangerous…

    Looks fantastic!

    Jason

  9. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — July 1, 2010 @ 7:36 am

    I have never seen almond paste before – must look for it. I love an almond cake too and I like that you added the orange flower water to it – a great combination!

  10. Maria at Fresh Eats — July 1, 2010 @ 8:00 am

    What a pretty cake! I too feel a little shock at making a cake “just because,” but I can easily be swayed.

  11. Pingback: mini buttermilk corn muffins | the merry gourmet

  12. Magic of Spice — July 3, 2010 @ 2:48 am

    What a fantastic looking cake…looks so moist and I love almond paste:)

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