Who knew Beets could taste this good

 

After having leftover beetroot puree from making pasta and wondering what to do with it, I stumbled across this ice-cream recipe on the Saveur website. It’s a Jeni Britton Bauer recipe and it is absolutely to die for. I have slightly adapted the recipe to suit my own taste and what I think works better based on previously making.

The great, or rather interesting, aspect to this ice-cream and what makes it differ from others, is that it does not use eggs. Her basic ice-cream base is one that uses full-cream cream cheese or mascapone which has a high fat content and glucose syrup which is often used in foods to soften texture, add volume, and to help prevent crystallisation of sugars.

Often homemade ice-cream can be too soft or too dense and have a grainy texture. This recipe uses the idea that basically ice-cream is an emulsion – one that melds fat, water and air. The use of heat, proteins, sugars and starches help this combination to marry; and the stronger the marriage, the more silky and smooth your ice-cream will be. The high-fat content, glucose syrup and starch combined with heat help strengthen this bind by coating the water particles and firmly binding them to the ingredients. If the water is not bound well to the ingredients, your ice-cream will form shards of ice which is often why some homemade ice-creams are not always silky and smooth.

The combination of beetroot and orange is heavenly. The first taste you get is orange and then you’re left with a subtle beet flavour. The smooth, silky texture combined with the crunch of the poppy seeds adds another dimension and crunchy surprise.

I never knew beetroot ice-cream could be this delicious – this is probably one of my favourite flavour combos (so jealous I never thought of it), and Jeni Britton Bauer’s base recipe is my favourite ice-cream base I have come across – it truly flop-free, easy and utterly divine!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1¼ cups heavy cream
⅔ cup sugar

2 tbsp glucose syrup
½ tsp. kosher salt

1 vanilla pod
Peel of 1 orange
3 tbsp. mascarpone cheese

1 cup puréed roasted beets
2 tbsp. poppy seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup milk and the cornstarch; and set aside. In a. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk, cream, sugar, glucose syrup, and salt. Slice the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and pod to the milk mixture. Bring the whole lot to a boil over medium-high heat. Add orange peel, turn down the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the cornflour and milk mixture; return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

2. Place mascarpone cheese in a bowl and pour in ¼ cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture; stir in beets. Allow the mixture to cool (you can set the bowl over a a bowl of ice to help the mix cool quicker) then place in the fridge to chill (for at least 2 hours).

3. Pass the mix through a sieve. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding poppy seeds during the last minute of churning. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set.

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