Homemade ice cream is something I love to make. While, rolling it out in mason jars is definitely the most fun – this carrot ice cream recipe tastes so much creamier and includes real, raw carrots! Cookie cutting the ice cream bars into carrot shapes gives a fabulous way to present the treat for spring, and will totally distract your kids from the good-for-them shreds of carrots happily hiding inside.
To make the carrot ice cream recipe, you will need; 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1-1/2 cups peeled, finely grated carrots (from about 3-4 medium carrots), 1-1/2 cups whole milk, 1-1/2 cups heavy cream, pinch fine sea salt, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 4 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Make sure to have these kitchen essentials are available; 9×13 casserole pan (we used a paper disposable pan with lid), carrot-shaped cookie cutter, and green decorations (jimmies, sprinkles, gel).
Make the carrot ice cream by; melting the butter and brown sugar together in a small pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the shredded carrots and cook until the mixture is thick and the carrots are soft, about 6 or 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Next, fill a large bowl halfway with cool water and ice cubes. Place a medium bowl with a fine-mesh strainer over it inside the ice-water bath to chill. Combine the milk, cream, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is warm and begins to steam, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth and pale in color. Carefully whisk half of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, until the egg mixture is warmed. Pour the egg yolk-milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, to form a custard that’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and registers about 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not boil the custard or the egg yolks will curdle.
Immediately pour the custard through the fine-mesh strainer into the bowl sitting in the ice bath; discard any solids left in the strainer. Stir in the vanilla extract and the cinnamon, then add the carrot mixture. Cool the custard until it reaches room temperature, stirring often. Press parchment paper against the custard and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours or up to 1 day.
Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker. Process according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spread ice cream into casserole dish, smoothing the top. Press parchment paper against the ice cream’s surface before sealing with lid. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for a a couple of minutes. Start in a corner of the dish and press cookie cutter into the ice cream. Carefully remove the piece of ice cream (an offset spatula helps here) and place it on a plate; decorate the “carrot top” if desired. Cut out additional ice cream pieces if needed. Cover and freeze the rest until next time. Enjoy your carrot cake ice cream in a waffle cone or in a bowl.
Photography and styling by Athena Plichta for A Subtle Revelry. Recipe adapted from Tessa Arias.