Monday, February 7, 2011

Beets Beets Everywhere!

Juicing the beets last time didn't really go so smoothly. Either time. This time, I was racking my brains for a new way to juice them (that did not involve buying a juicer). A co-worker was raving on and on about her new Vitamix... and I totally got it in my head I could borrow it (not being personally in possession of a $650 blender) and that the Vitamix would successfully juice beets for beet ice cream.

And you know what: it did. Even better than I could have imagined.

So, I needed two cups of beet juice. I truly underestimated the magic of the Vitamix and bought tons and tons of beets, just to make sure I had enough. I peeled and quartered three of them ("just to see how it works," I told myself), tossed a couple of quarters in with a tablespoon of water (since I didn't want to overhead the mixer in the first few second). I held my breathe and flipped the switch.

And had straight-up beet juice roughly 2 seconds later.

The thing is in-freakin-credible. I tossed in more and more and had all the beet juice I needed (and then some) in less than two minutes. Which was mostly spent turning it on and off to look and see if it was really still working.

The one downside was that I had to separate the juice and pulp using some cheesecloth. It wasn't very hard and it didn't take very long, but it looked like I may have murdered someone in my kitchen afterwards:

After straining, I put the beet juice in a pan to reduce, then in the fridge to chill.

Then I tossed my pulp in with some cream, more cream, and some milk (whole milk, of course, since my toddler needs all the fat he can get, and I rarely if ever touch milk) to "infuse" the cream.

Isn't that the prettiest color? After bringing to a boil and sitting for 30 minutes, I strained it.

More pretty colors:

After straining, I made the custard base for the ice cream:

Super simple: separate more eggs than you ever want to lay you hands on, whip them with some sugar,

Then temper the egg-mixture with the cream mixture and cook it until it thickens. Then in the fridge over night. Pretty simple, in the grand scheme of things.

Fast forwarding to the next day, I combined the reduced beet juice with the custard,

Then tossed it in my brand-new ice cream maker, and tada! Beet ice cream.

I've decided that beets should be the official food of Valentine's day, with the way they cover the gambit from blood-red to pretty pink!

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