Love and Olive Oil

Roasted Beet Ice Cream

Roasted Beet Ice Cream

Taylor’s obsession with beets has ultimately lead us here. To beet ice cream. You had to be expecting it, right?

This particular recipe comes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, which, I have to say, is pretty splendid. Jeni’s opened up a Nashville shop recently, and while I’ve only been once, I am still thinking about that cherry and goat cheese ice cream (and will likely be attempting it myself very soon!)

But since the beets from our CSA were getting smaller by the week, I figured now was my chance to give this one a try.

Roasted Beet Ice Cream

Granted, it was a last minute decision so I had to make modifications based on our lack of orange zest and poppy seeds. Which, looking back, was probably a mistake.

It was a bit lackluster without them.

You might think that beet flavor in ice cream would be overpowering; but I found myself wishing it had more beet flavor. I’m sure that’s where the orange zest kicks in, but without it this ice cream was kind of bland. Of course, once drizzled in chocolate sauce it was as satisfying as any basic vanilla.

Note to self: next time, don’t leave out the most interesting parts of the recipe.

I also wish someone would enlighten me as to the secret of beet puree. I ran it through a food processor, a blender, AND a food mill, and it was still little bitty chunks of cooked beet rather than a smooth puree. Maybe that’s what happened to all my beet flavor, it got stuck in the chunks.

Roasted Beet Ice Cream

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2 cups milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Peel of 1 orange
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup puréed roasted beets
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)


In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add orange peel. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Place mascarpone cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture; stir in beets. Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled.

Remove orange peel. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding poppy seeds during the last minute of churning. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set.

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Did you salt the beets when you roasted them? I’m asking because 1. a lack of salt could’ve contributed to bland flavor, and 2. I’m wondering how it affects the final recipe to have salted them.. usually sweet + salty is a good thing, but since I’ve not played with beets too much, and have never made beet icecream, well, I dunno.

    Gonna try it tomorrow, though!

  2. Wow! Love the color! I want to try this right now…in fact I think I will. :D

  3. Are you sure you posted the correct quantities for this recipe? I thought 1/4 cup of cornstarch seemed odd, but didn’t research it until I had already made it and it looked more like pudding than ice cream base before it was even frozen. I then did an Internet search and found the same recipe listed at Saveur with everything identical except 4 teaspoons of cornstarch instead of 4 tablespoons! It has an odd starchy flavor and is not at all pleasant. Sad to have wasted all of those ingredients.

  4. I live in Jeni’s hometown. No matter how weird it looks, any recipe from her is going to kick butt. I think she has something like four locations here and no matter which one you hit, they have a line going out the door. I am totally stoked that she’s expanding out of state. Now all the rest of you get to find out how awesome she is.

  5. Ok, first I saw the Marzipan ice cream, but this!! This is unbelievable!! I just bought an ice cream machine. I can’t wait to try this!

  6. I think if I ever had this flavor, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I’d probably just going insane with joy.

  7. Blach, I HATED, I mean HATED beets as a kid. Somehow, for whatever reason, like 2 years ago a switched flipped and I LOVE them now. This looks truly delicious. With the orange zest and mascarpone, mmm, I need this in my life, STAT!

  8. Yum! I want to try this to go with the chocolate beet cake I just made:

  9. I wonder if adding some of the milk mixture to the beets while pureeing would help with the texture?

  10. I like your photos, are esplendid! The ice cream is yummmm

  11. Your ice cream is so pretty. I enjoyed reading about it (your posts are always well-written and entertaining). I have an ice-cream maker. Might have to give it a shot; I love beets.

    I’m curious as to where you got your cute spoons… I’ve seen them out in the food photography world before but haven’t figured out where they’re from.

  12. I love beets but have never had beet ice cream! I love the color! I think I need to try this one!

  13. Not gonna lie, this sounds super weird! It reminds me of IronChef, you know how they’re always making strange ice creams? Anyway, I’m sure anything with cream and sugar will taste pretty good. Thanks for such an interesting post!

  14. Daredevil!!! :-D

  15. I would’ve totally guessed raspberry if I hadn’t read the post. Looks delicious! I love beets in juices so I can totally see loving it in ice cream form. How unique!

  16. Isn’t it weird how sometimes one little ingredient can have such a massive effect on the final product? It looks very pretty though and I can imagine with the orange zest that it would really come alive.

  17. I LOVE Jeni’s! She’s local from here in OH, and I’m so glad that the rest of the world is finally getting to experience the greatness! The goat cheese and cherry is AMAZING! One of my favorites. I haven’t tried the beet ice cream, but a friend made it, and she had issues with her beet puree too. She couldn’t get hers completely smooth either and was turned off by the “beet bits”, even though she loved the idea of the flavor. But your ice cream still looks beautiful!

  18. If I saw this recipe in a book I would most likely keep turning, but after reading your post, I can understand how it would work. I’m keen to get an ice-cream maker this summer, so might keep this recpe in mind :)

  19. Oh wow!! I have been waiting for this post of yours! Delicious it looks and the good thing is I just bought my Ice cream maker today. So was searching for recipes on tastespotting and this is so on time. Love it. Would love to try it.

  20. The ice cream looks so creative and good. I love beets and I love my CSA!

    As for the chunky nature to it and not perfectly smooth..I think that due to the fairly high fiber content of beets and the overall fibrous nature, it would be nearly impossible to get it smooth like say…Nutella :) or something.

    Also if you didn’t peel the beets, that would do it too.

    Got your email from earlier. Trying to find some time to ponder & reply :)

    • Oh, we definitely skinned them! :) I think I was expecting them to be more potato or even carrot-like, but that’s not at all what I got.

  21. This ice cream is beautiful. I hate when leaving out a few ingredients ruins a recipe.

  22. No matter what happened, or what didn’t, I still need a little diving board set up right next to this, please.

    GORGEOUS photos. Wow!

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