Beet Orange Poppyseed

lemon beet poppyseed ice cream

Along with all of the fruit I have been eating this Spring, I have also enjoyed some great vegetables, such as beets.  I love them because they are sweet and earthy at the same time.  Roasting them is the most obvious type of preparation, but I recently enjoy them shredded raw in a salad which was great!

Beets in ice cream, you say?  In fact, I have used beets to make a scoop once before – Lemon Beet Yogurt which was, I have to admit, just okay.  Don’t get me wrong, the frozen yogurt tastes good, I just wasn’t sold on the beet to lemon ratio.  With some extra beets in my pantry, I decided to attempt Jeni’s version of a beet ice cream, which I had enjoyed in the stores.  The beets in this version gives the eater a stunning magenta scoop with a hint of earthiness.  Much better balanced than my original scoop. Enjoy!

lemon beet poppyseed ice cream 2

Beet Orange Poppyseed Ice Cream
Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Makes about 1 quart

There are several elements to this scoop.  Beets give the scoop its color and bit of earthiness, Orange is the most dominant flavor, and the Poppy Seeds provide some nice crunch.  Although this recipe also has mascarpone in the base, I don’t feel like you can taste the cheese in the scoop.  I would suggest adding another 2 Tablespoons to the base if you want more of a cheesecake-like flavor.

Quick Tip:  Below you will find the traditional method for roasting beets.  I recently found a faster method that I love – beets in the microwave!  Place beets in an 8-inch glass dish.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 15 minutes, or until very soft.  Let cool slightly and peel while still warm. The moisture of the beets will steam themselves!

Roasted Beets:
2 medium beets
2 Tablespoons sugar

Ice Cream Base:
2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 ounces mascarpone cheese
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
Zest of 1 orange, remove large strips with a vegetable peeler
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Wrap each beet in foil.  Bake until very soft, about one hour. Remove beets from oven and let cool slightly.  Peel beets while they are still warm.  Cut into small chunks and transfer to a food processor.  Puree then push beets through a fine mesh sieve to make a smooth puree.  Reserve ½ cup warm beet puree and discard remainder.  Combine beet puree with sugar and set aside to cool.

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch.  In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone, beet puree, and salt until smooth.

In a medium saucepan, combine remaining milk, cream, remaining sugar, corn syrup, and orange zest and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Boil until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute.

Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone mixture and whisk until smooth.  Do not remove zest.  Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Chill overnight.

Once chilled, remove orange zest and pour into an ice cream maker, add poppy seeds and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container for storage.  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

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