Beet ice cream with mascarpone, orange zest and poppy seeds

I have hit an ice-cream phase, due to the oncoming hot weather and am trying all sorts of weird and wonderful flavors.
This one is a beautiful, rich red color, then surprises with a smooth, round slightly sweet beet flavor.
Well worth the effort!
From being on so many food blogs, I noticed some of the authors are now putting out beautiful recipe books, and this recipe came from Jeni Britton Bauer in her book “Jeni’s Splendid Ice creams at home”
featuring over 100 artisanal ice cream/sorbet and gelato recipes.

Makes about 1 quart. You need your Cuisinart 1 qt ice cream maker for this. Worth buying!

Before you do anything else, put the bowl of the Cuisinart ice cream maker in the freezer overnight!

For the roasted beets
2 medium red beets
2 tbsp sugar
Ice cream base
2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
2 oz (or 1/4 cup) mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
zest of a large orange – use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest in large strips
2 tbsp poppy seeds
extra poppy seeds to garnish

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Wrap the beets in a sheet of foil. bake until soft, about 1 hour or so. let the beets cool slightly, then peel them while they’re still warm. Cut into chunks and puree in the food processor.
Force the puree through a sieve (I used a mouli for this bit)
Combine 1/2 cup of the warm beet puree with the sugar. (Discard any extra beet puree). Set aside to cool

Mix about 2 tbsp of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
Whisk the mascarpone, beet puree and salt into a medium bowl until smooth.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK –  Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup and orange zest in a 4 qt saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat and boil for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 -2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

CHILL – gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone mixture and beets until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a 1 gallon ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE – Remove the orange zest and pour the ice cream into the frozen canister. Add the poppy seeds and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack the ice cream into a storage container and seal with an airtight lid. Sprinkle with a few poppy seeds to garnish and freeze in the coldest part of the freezer until firm or at least 5 hours.

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