When I was in Berlin, my local friends took me to a Vietnamese restaurant in Mitte. There was the standard Westernized Vietnamese food…but it was the tea that gripped me in delight. Somehow I had missed this kind of tea in Vietnam. There were three kinds—with fresh jasmine blossoms, ginger, lemongrass. Served in a large ceramic bowl, I drank the tea leaving the remains in the cup.
Later at my friend’s apartment, they gave me tea again with fresh ginger. Thus began my love of ginger with hot water.
So when I had an overabundance of carrots (the same reasons as the overabundance of jalapeños for the strawberry candied jalapeño), I had to add ginger.
Instead of using ground ginger, I used fresh ginger in the recipe. Somehow the ginger did not come through, so I added some of my ginger syrup. Next time though, I plan to add more grated fresh ginger.
Adapted from Savory Notes:
For the carrot puree
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Cut carrots lengthwise, and then into chunks. Toss in a bowl, with canola oil. Spread onto baking sheet and bake at 375°F for about 35-40 minutes. Roasting the carrots will bring out the delicious sugary flavor inherent in carrots.
When done, throw chunks into a blender, and add a tablespoon of water at a time and blend away. You’re looking for a thick paste, so keep adding as much water as you need until you get to that point. If the carrots are somewhat dry, it may need more water.
Set aside 3/4 cup of the puree for the ice cream.
For the ice cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp fresh grated ginger
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt, honey, and sugar.
In a pot on the stove, combine milk and heavy cream. When cream mixture starts to gently bubble, turn off heat.
While continuously whisking the egg yolk/sugar mixture, slowly add a ladle of the hot cream.
After incorporating about a third of the hot cream, pour the egg yolk/sugar mixture into the pot with the remaining hot cream, and whisk.
Set the flame to low, and whisk often. Add the ginger.
When the mixture coats the back of a spoon (a clean line can be drawn with a finger), turn off and remove from heat.
Add the carrot puree and vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is thoroughly combined. Strain mixture (to take out carrot and ginger bits) and let sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature (approximately 40 minutes).
Place in refrigerator for a few hour or overnight. Then churn in the ice cream maker.
Written in July 2012