Beetroot Ice Cream
This weekend we embarked on a flavour experiment inspired by my brother Tim, who is the Chef de Cuisine at Tru Restaurant in Chicago. Just before Christmas, I took my cousin Sam, his wife Brie, and my other brothers and sister to dine in his amazing restaurant. The third course of the evening was a selection of red and yellow beets with celery, tomato, and chocolate. I was most impressed by the combination of beetroot purÃ©e with chocolate shavings.
Big D and I have been talking about making a beetroot sorbet for the better part of the last year. We had always imagined adding black pepper, but Tim’s dish got me thinking differently. When four beetroots arrived in our veg-box this week, I suggested we finally tackle the recipe.
However, we were undecided on how best to extract the beetroot flavour into a nicely textured sorbet. We decided to experiment. And thanks to my handy new Donvier half-pint ice cream maker (that Dad gave me for Christmas) we are able to do test batches a cup at a time and perfect the recipe before the final crank. We tried three approaches:
- a sorbet of purÃ©ed raw beetroots with sugar syrup
- a sorbet made by cooking grated raw beetroots in sugar syrup and then removing the grated beetroots, hoping the flavour stays in the syrup
- an ice cream (the standard Russell recipe) with purÃ©ed roasted beetroots
The moral of the story? The Russell recipe never fails! Both of the sorbets tasted a bit too bitter and earthy. Maybe the ice cream was better thanks to the milk and cream, or maybe it was better because the beetroots were roasted… Our experiment wasn’t really complete since we did not make a roasted beetroot sorbet… Anyway, the beetroot ice cream was delicious with chocolate shavings on top, so we marched forth with the following recipe (in a half-gallon freezer):
Beetroot Ice Cream
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup double cream
- 9 small beets
- 1-2 liters milk
Roast the beetroots in the oven until tender (1-2 hours).
Let the beets cool and then peel off the skin - it should be easy to rub off with your fingers.
In a blender, combine the beets with a little milk and blend until you have a smooth purÃ©e.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar and mix in the cream.
Mix in the beetroot purÃ©e until smooth.
Add enough milk to fill the can to a few centimeters from the top.
However, we got too excited to simply add chocolate shavings, and went ahead and made a delicious chocolate gelato, which I’ll describe in a separate post.
The end result was a wonderful combination of colours and flavours: A stripe of deep red beetroot ice cream next to a stripe of chocolate ice cream with freshly ground black pepper to garnish. Individually, each ice cream stood up well. And together they were delightfully interesting. The black pepper seemed a worthwhile addition to most of us, gently complimenting both of the other two flavours.
A real triumph of a dessert. And even better with a small glass of Maury.
Those of us who were present at the unveiling of the beetroot, chocolate miracle were reduced to eating in stunned silence at the level of craftsmanship we were experiencing. It always goes quiet when these gentlemen serve the ice cream, but there was a sense of reverence to this particular combination. It was actually difficult to comprehend how good it tasted.
Eating this ice cream is a bit like writing “green” with a red pen: your brain will try to send you signals according to which there is something wrong, but do not listen to them: eat (the ice cream, not the paper you’ve written on), and enjoy!
looking great peter.
Wow!, amazing! award for most inventive use for beets in the box! I challenge you to make a brussel sprout ice cream for Xmas, actually.. on second thoughts…
Well done Peter!!!
If the Scotland thing doesn’t pan out, I definately have a job for you in the kitchen. Only four star restaurant to serve hand crank ice cream seems entirely appropriate.
Keep doin’ it man, this is a great food blog.
What a wonderful way to experience brain freeze
JAN AND I ARE SITTING IN M* AND WALT’S LIVING ROOM LOOKING AT THIS WONDERFUL BEET ICE CREAM. wAY TO GO!!!!!!!
LOVE, B-A-P AND AUNT JAN ( JAN IS A WANNBE BE BEAUTIFUL AUNT JAN)
This sounds great, will try and give this a go in the summer.
Speaking of unusual flavours, have you tried Bacon & Egg flavour? If you’ve not heard / seen it before, have a look at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2002/jun/01/foodanddrink.shopping5
Actually we once made devilled egg ice cream, but we have yet to upload the recipe. We will have to try bacon and egg though. We have heard of it, but hadn’t seen a recipe. Good luck with the beetroots and please let us know how it goes.
am going to make beetroot ice cream today and serve it with rhubarb cooked four ways, i made x mas pudding ice cream last week and it was deicious
Neat post. I found this searching for Donvier half-pint recipes, but we’ve been getting a lot of beets lately in our CSA too, and I’m a big fan of the savory ice creams.
Do you remember what you did for the half-pint recipe?
When testing in the Donvier we tend to just scale the recipe down proportionally, so we probably had only a spoonful of egg and a spoon of sugar, etc. Basically just use 1/8 of each of the ingredients and you’ll be fine.
Awesome. Thanks, Peter.