Tuesday, May 22, 2012

beet ice cream with mascarpone, orange zest and poppy seeds

Beets are bright red, earthy and sweet. And when roasted, have hints of chocolate and an almost nutty quality. This ice cream is extremely decadent considering it's made with a root vegetable. The salty mascarpone lends a hand in that, as does the heavy cream and whole milk. The orange zest cuts into the richness, while the poppy seeds give it a nice crunch. It's a bit labor-intensive, but super worth it if you want to try an ice cream  that is multi-layered and unusually satisfying. The recipe is adapted from this great ice cream book called "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home."

Makes about one quart

2 medium red beets
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon arrowroot
2 ounces (1/4 cup) mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Zest of one orange (use vegetable peeler to remove zest in large chunks)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wrap each beet in heavy foil. Bake until very soft, about one hour.
Let the beets cool slightly, then peel while still warm. Cut into chunks and puree in a food processor. Force the puree through a sieve. Combine 1/2 cup of the warm beet puree with the sugar (save extra beet puree for a tapenade or spread-just add sea salt and olive oil and slather on a good piece of bread- delicious!) Set aside to cool.
Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the arrowroot in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the mascarpone, beet puree, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and orange zest in a large 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 arrowroot slurry.
Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about one minute. Remove from heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone mixture and beets until smooth. Cool to room temperature, discard orange zest, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to really let the flavors meld.
Pour the ice cream mixture in a frozen ice cream maker canister. Add poppy seeds and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack ice cream in a storage container and freeze for at least four hours before serving. When ready to serve, sprinkle with a few poppy seeds for garnish. And enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, love the color, and I know it's gotta be as delectable as it looks!