We’re embracing winter this week, but we’re going to sweeten things up a little bit. Inspired by a late Christmas celebration in early January, this week’s flavor is based on our dinner’s side dish that night, a winter vegetable gratin. It was perfect, and so is this week’s flavor – Roasted Winter Vegetable.
The vegetable gratin was pretty simple really. Thinly sliced sweet potato, parsnips, butternut squash, and turnips, alternately layered in a casserole, seasoned in between and roasted low in the oven with a bit of chicken stock. The gratin is finished with a little cream, and topped with panko, grated parmesan and olive oil. The vegetables become so sweet from roasting low and steaming in their own juices, that this gratin could have easily been dessert. But that’s what we’re doing…
For the ice cream, we made the gratin almost exactly the same. We alternated layers of these winter vegetables, seasoning with salt and pepper in between, and slow roasted with a small amount of salted water.
When the vegetables are out of the oven, they go into a food processor and are pureed. This seasoned winter vegetable puree is added to our ice cream base before pasteurization. But first we need to make use of the left over liquid in the bottom of the baking dish. This liquid is packed with flavor. We reduce the liquid until almost dry, and add to the ice cream base. After pasteurization, the ice cream base is strained through a fine mesh strainer, salted and cooled. Use the solids for another purpose. Pie maybe? Whatever, just use them. The chilled base is ready to churn.
Salty sweet! With each bite you can almost distinguish the flavor of each vegetable. A great accompaniment to pecan pie perhaps? However it’s eaten, embrace it, and this week, embrace winter with a little added sweetness.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Ice Cream
1 sweet potato, peeled
1 butternut squash, peeled
1 large parsnip, peeled
1 purple top turnip, peeled
1/2 cup water, salted
salt and pepper, for gratin
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable puree
1 teaspoon salt, for ice cream base
1. Prepare the gratin: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. With a mandolin, slice the vegetables 1/16-1/8 inch thick. In a ceramic or glass casserole, alternate layers of vegetables, seasoning with salt and pepper in between each layer. Add the salted water, cover with foil and bake for 80 minutes. Remove from oven.
2. Prepare puree and reduction: With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside for ice cream base. Transfer liquid in bottom of baking dish to a small sauce pan and reduce until nearly dry. Reserve reduction for ice cream base.
2. Make ice cream base: Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk fully. Add sugar and whisk. Add cream, remaining milk, vegetable puree, liquid reduction, and salt. Whisk until ingredients are combined.
4. Cook/pasteurize ice cream base: Place ice cream base in a small pot and heat over medium heat, whisking or stirring continuously until temperature reaches 165-170 degrees. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (an ice bath will do this in about 15-20 minutes). Strain base through a fine mesh strainer and put base in a clean container, cover, and chill in refrigerator overnight.
5. Churn ice cream base in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
*Yields approximately 2.5 pints
If you’d rather not make it, you can be one of two lucky winners of this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. Two winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 1/30/15 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally in Minneapolis. Prizes must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!