The idea was actually inspired by the pickled beets his mom made. He and his wife brought a jar over and the moment I tasted them I knew they'd be great spooned over vanilla ice cream. They were sweet and spiced like Christmas time. I don't know if his mom added cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg or all there. I just know they were fantastic! The next time I had them was over vanilla ice cream. I'd told him they were delicious that way but could tell he was ambivalent to try a vegetable ice cream concoction. His Birthday was the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of Birthday Beet Ice Cream using the "Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds" recipe from my Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook. I omitted the orange zest and poppy seeds and replaced them with his mom's beets.
I'm not going to share the recipe because it's in the book. I will share the basic steps and how I added the pickled beets in this photo tutorial:
- Roast fresh beets
- After processing the beets I pushed them through a fine sieve. This is how you make seedless and very smooth ice creams with any cooked fruit or vegetable.
- Mix with other ingredients.
- Cook the ice cream base on your stovetop.
- Mix all of the base ingredients together and chill. The recommended way in the book is to put the base in a big Ziploc bag and place in a large bowl of ice water. But we had two inches of new fallen snow on the ground and very low temperatures so I put my base in a metal mixing bowl outside and mounded snow around it covering the bowl with a cookie sheet to keep the snow out while it chilled.
- I mashed the pickled beets with my potato masher.
- The end result of step #6.
- I poured the now chilled base mixture into my electric ice cream machine.
- I alternated layers of ice cream and mashed beets until the container was full. By layering this way it creates a "swirl" effect when you scoop the ice cream out later.
- When it was done I put the container in the back of the freezer to harden.
The base recipe was rich, creamy, and tasted like cheesecake complemented with the sweet and spiced pickled beets. I took it over and told him if he didn't care for it I'd take it back with me and make him a new flavor. He sampled it and said he was keeping it, but I could also make him another flavor anyway :D