I'm anxious when I hear about people adding cauliflower to their sweets, and even have my reservations abut zucchini in chocolate cakes, although I hear at least that one is quite nice.
So, adding pureed beetroot to ice cream is a real leap for me. I happen to love beetroot, despite its staining tendencies, and fell in love with the thought of churning hot pink to fuchsia coloured ice cream in my machine.
I figured someone had probably already invented beetroot ice cream, so I googled it and found a recipe for it on a lovely blog. The pictures were amazing, and yes, the ice cream was fuchsia!
Somehow mine didn't turn out so hot pink, but it was a lovely shade of pink, and tasted even better than I thought it would. When you hear that a vegetable has been added to ice cream, it can make you pretty weary- so I have to say I was absolutely pleasantly surprised. Of course you are all wondering what it tastes like. Well the first flavour that hits you is that of oranges-a delightful citrus that hints at marmalade and is simultaneously fresh. There are subtle notes of beet on the end. I wouldn't go as far to say that you can pick out the flavour distinctly, but there are definitely beetroot qualities, a certain earthiness, a tang. There are no strong flavours, it is a very smooth and harmonious combination, a delicate quality to the ice cream, along with a silky smoothness that lacks in many home made ice creams.
ORANGE AND BEETROOT ICE CREAM (Adapted from Saveur)
2 cups milk
4 tsp corn flour (or corn starch)
1 1/4 cup thickened or heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup (or golden syrup)
peel of 1 orange
3 tbsp cream cheese
1/2 cup pureed beetroot (I used beetroot from a 450g can, drained.)
In a small bowl, place 1/4 cup of the milk with the corn flour and set aside In a medium saucepan, place the remaining milk cream, sugar, syrup and salt and whisk to combine.
Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Add the orange peel and cook for 4 minutes Stir the milk-cornflour mixture until combined, and add to the saucepan. Return to the boil and cook, stirring until thick, for about 2 minutes. Remove about 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture and place in a small bowl with the cream cheese. Combine thoroughly until smooth. Add this to the saucepan. Stir in the pureed beetroot.
Chill the mixture until completely cold. I left mine overnight in the refrigerator. Then strain the mixture to remove the beetroot and orange peel. Follow the manufacturers instructions on your ice cream machine for the final step. When churned, place in the freezer for several hours to freeze before serving.
Makes about 1 litre