Beets for Picky Eaters?
Not only do I like to try growing new and different vegetables, I also enjoy finding new ways to use vegetables. A couple years ago I knew a pastry chef who made some really good vegetable ice creams. A few months later I came across a recipe for Beet Ice Cream. I made it once, in my tiny apartment with almost no counter space and none of the correct kitchen implements. It was okay, but not great.
Therefore, with beet season upon us once again, I decided it was time to try out the beet ice cream recipe with a better chance at success. I bought 2 lbs. of red beets from the Farmers market. (I don’t think the Chioggias or Gold beets would be quite the same in ice cream…) I peeled them, cubed them, and shredded them in the food processor. (I think a juicer would be the more appropriate tool here, but I wasn’t about to buy a juicer for this!) The shredded beets were squeezed in a cheesecloth to yield about 1/2 cup of beet juice. The juice was then reduce to 1/4 cup with 2 cinnamon sticks and some whole cloves. It smelled really good!
The grated beets were mixed with a whole bunch of cream and a little milk, then cooked until soft. After straining out the beets, the bright pink cream was mixed with sugar. Egg yolks were added to make the custard base. The custard and the juice were both cooled overnight, then mixed together and poured into the ice cream maker.
(As an aside, I think electric ice cream makers are cheating. However, they are very easy to use.)