Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beet Ice Cream

Before you think this is some weird thing I came up with because I had extra beets, google it.  There are dozens of recipes for this.

Yes, beets are a root vegetable.  They were also once a popular source of refined sugar, now supplanted by the ubiquitous corn and other grain bases.  It's why C&H originally advertised itself as "Pure Cane Sugar", the implication being that cheaper brands were part beet sugar.  This recipe has more in common with something like a berry ice cream than what you're probably thinking of, a frozen beet on a stick.  Yeah, try getting that picture out of your head.  I dare you.

I started with my regular ice cream base, but reduced the sugar to make up for what the beets and orange bring to it.  Without the refined sugar masking everything, you really taste the beets.  If your goal is to trick children into eating veggies, don't go this route.  Add a bit more sugar and call it "punch" ice cream.  That's the closest kid-friendly taste I can think to use to describe this.

2 medium beets
2 egg yolks
1/4 C sugar
*1 C heavy cream
1 C milk
*1 small orange, like Valencia

1.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Clean beets and remove all but 1" of tops.  Wrap each tightly in foil and roast for 45 minutes, until soft.  Allow to cool, then slice off tops and root point and peel.  Chop into chunks. Grate about 1 tsp of zest off the orange and squeeze out 1/4 C of juice.  Place beets, zest, and juice in a blender or food processor and purée.  You can go the slightly chunky route, or make as fine as Stage 1 baby food.  I did a true purée and got nearly 2/3 C of it.
2.  While the beets are roasting, heat milk and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently to avoid scorching.  At the same time, combine yolks and sugar in a cup or bowl big enough to accept some of the milk.

3.  Once milk comes to a low boil, gradually beat in 1/2 C or so of the milk into the yolks to temper them.  The container should be warm and the mixture fluid.  Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low until just under a boil.  The milk will thicken to just past a heavy cream consistency.  Remove from heat.  Place a bit of plastic wrap over the surface until the beet purée is ready.

4.  Combine purée and cream.  The mixes don't have to combine completely if you're using an ice cream machine.  The churner will do it for you.  Place the wrap back on the surface and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, until cool.

5.  Run mixture through ice cream maker to desired consistency.  Freeze an additional 2 to 4 hours before serving for a firm set.

Makes about 3 C, depending on overrun

Difficulty rating  :)

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