I love the the little taste-test spoons at ice cream parlors. I’ll admit it; I’m the person who after about 15 minutes has had my full serving in samples and then ends up picking an ice cream flavor that I didn’t taste test in the first place!
Whether you’re the type of ice cream lover who knows your favorites and doesn’t stray, or the type who loves new flavors and can never decide, you need Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home in your cookbook library, and you should try her beet ice cream. Its earthy-fresh flavor is refreshing and not-too-sweet. If you use a red beet in this recipe your ice cream will turn out a beautiful bright pink. If you use a golden beet, like I did, the ice cream will be a warm butterscotch color.
Beet Ice cream
Makes about 1 quart
- 2 medium beets
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Ice Cream Base
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon water plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I substituted real maple syrup)
- Zest of 1 orange (use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest in large strips)
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
The day before mixing your ice cream, place a Cuisinart ice cream bowl in the coldest part of your freezer.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Wrap the beets in a sheet of foil.
- Bake until very soft, about 1 hour.
- Let the beets cool slightly, then wipe them with a paper towel to peel.
- Cut the peeled beets into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor.
- Force the puree through a mesh sieve.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the warm beet puree with the sugar (discard any extra beet puree).
- Set aside to cool.
Ice Cream Base
- Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
- Whisk the mascarpone, beet puree, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and orange zest in a 4-quart saucepan.
- Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone/beat mixture until smooth. Pour into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the orange zest and pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream maker bowl.
- Add the poppy seeds and run the Cuisinart ice cream maker until thick and creamy.
- Pack the ice cream into a storage container and sprinkle with poppy seeds as a garnish.
- Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
- Place your container in the coldest part of your freezer and allow to freeze for 4 hours.
Whatever your ice cream parlor habits are, we think you’ll enjoy trying this unique treat. Enjoy!
Items used in this recipe: