One of my most popular older recipes is Carrot Cake Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl, and it is popular for a great reason: it tastes like frozen carrot cake! Hard to go wrong there. We are once again in farm-fresh carrot season, with the kind of sweet, young carrots that are perfect for this recipe, so I decided to do an updated recipe that I tweaked by using honey instead of sugar, and arrowroot instead of corn starch. I also made some adjustments to some of the other ingredients and substituted mascarpone for the light cream cheese called for in the original recipe. I stick with full-fat dairy as much as possible, but if you remain fat-phobic in the light of current research, the older recipe is slightly lower in fat.
I used carrots from our C.S.A. share with Ollin Farms and they were nice and sweet. If you use older, store-bought carrots you might want to increase the honey by a couple of tablespoons to compensate for the reduced sugar in the vegetables.
If you want to make a dairy-free version of this you can make two changes: substitute full-fat coconut milk (not the refrigerated, coconut beverage; use the canned type) for the cream and the half-and-half, and skip the mascarpone component that is added in at the end.
Note that I omitted the “Cream Cheese Swirl” in the recipe title because of the shift to mascarpone, and because using honey instead of a bunch of powdered sugar meant that this actually ended up being clumps of mascarpone, rather than swirls. And Carrot Cake Ice Cream with Mascarpone Clumps just doesn’t roll off of the tongue in the same way. Here’s the updated recipe:
- 2 1/2 cups grated fresh carrot, preferably young and freshly picked
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 large orange)
- 1/2 cup honey (if you are using store-bought carrots you might need to increase this a little)
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tsp five spice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsps arrowroot starch
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 2 tbls honey
- 2 tbls heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the carrots, water, orange juice, 1/2 cup of honey, salt, cinnamon, five spice, and vanilla. Cook over medium-high heat until the carrots are soft and the liquid is almost completely gone. For the first ten minutes of cooking time you can just let this boil; after that watch it carefully and stir frequently so it doesn't scorch. You want the carrots almost dry.
- While the carrots are cooking, whisk together the cream, half and half, egg yolks, and arrowroot. I use an immersion blender to do this so the egg yolks are completely blended.
- When the carrots are cooked, stir in the cream mixture and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens enough to coat a spoon. Let it cool down a bit and then refrigerate until chilled.
- Stir together the mascarpone, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and vanilla.
- Load the chilled ice cream base into your ice cream freezer and process according to directions. When the ice cream starts to "mound" you can add in the walnuts. When it is close to being finished, drop in spoonfuls of the mascarpone mixture.
- Eat the finished ice cream right away, or put it in the freezer to cure. If you freeze this you will want to let it soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to make it easier to scoop. Makes about a quart.
This takes a bit of time to make the carrot base and it is not health food by any stretch of the imagination, but it is delicious, refreshing, and has practically a full serving of vegetables in each scoop. If you love carrot cake, give this frozen version a try.
Thanks for reading,