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As warm weather approaches, it is important to have some weather appropriate recipes handy. I love to enjoy a cold bowl ice cream while sitting outside and hopefully catching a breeze. However, it is easy to get bored of the same flavors over and over again. Some brands (like Ben and Jerry’s) have loads of great ice creams, but I personally cannot justify spending so much money on such a small tub of ice cream all the time. On the other hand, I do not always want the big gallons of basic vanilla, chocolate, or even peach that are more affordable.
That is why I like to make my own ice cream. It does take a long time, but it is not time that you have to be actively participating in, so it is still easy. Mostly, the cream needs a lot of time to fuse with whatever ingredients you have chosen and it also takes quite a while for the cream to turn from milk into ice cream. Because of that, this not is not a quick solution to an ice cream craving, but it will not disappoint you if you can manage to hang on until it is ready. To get the ice cream onto your spoon as quick as possible, make sure to check the instructions on your ice cream machine before starting. Several machines require parts to be left in the freezer for several hours before use. This is not a step you can skip, either, so it is wise to ensure any parts that need to be frozen are done so beforehand.
As I said earlier, I really like to experiment with different flavors when I make my own ice cream, so you might too. A tried-and-true recipe is this creamy potato milk vanilla ice cream that is delicious on its own but also goes great as a topping for cakes or fudgy vegan potato milk brownies.
This particular recipe is for maple carrot ice cream. It is uniquely sweet and delicious. The process does include a little more effort than other ice cream recipes because you need to cook the carrots first in order to soften them.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter. If you do not have pre-shredded carrots, you can use a potato peeler to shred them or cut them into very thin slices.
- Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and shredded carrots.
- Cook at a medium-low temperature for about 8 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and the sugar is melted. Be carefully not to let the sugar burn, as that can happen quickly. If it looks like it is going to overheat, remove it from stovetop.
- Remove from heat and let the carrots cool for a few minutes.
- Add the carrots and sugar mixture to a blender or food processor. Add a few tbsp of the milk as well.
- Pulse or blend until the carrots turn into a smooth paste. You may need to add a little bit more milk so the carrots don’t stick in the blender.
- Put the heavy whipping cream, remaining milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a pot.
- Place the pot over medium heat and cook until it begins to simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until aromatic.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a new bowl. Add the maple syrup and the previously blended carrot mixture and stir with a whisk to combine.
- Once the maple syrup is fully incorporated into the milk mixture, cover it and put it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or until it has chilled completely. I like to leave it in the fridge overnight.
- After the milk has rested in the fridge for a while, you can remove it and transfer it to your ice cream machine. Follow the machine's manufacturer instructions to make the ice cream. It usually involves leaving it in the machine for several hours.
- When the ice cream is done, it will be very soft. You can serve it like this or move it to a freezer-proof container and freeze it for a few hours to harden it.
- Serve and enjoy!
Notes & Tips
- Store in a freezer-proof, air-tight container in the freezer. It can last for several months. I find that homemade ice cream freezes really hard, so if you prefer a softer consistency (or you just need it soft enough to scoop) you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time.
- Because the ice cream takes several hours of chilling and freezing, I recommend staring this the day before and letting the milk mixture sit in the fridge overnight before transferring it to the ice cream machine the next morning.
If you want, you can drizzle a little bit of maple syrup over the ice cream before serving. For even more pizzazz, sprinkle some shredded carrot overtop as well.
As amazing as this ice cream is on its own, you could also serve it alongside a classic carrot cake. I love pairing ice cream with cake and if you use maple carrot ice cream for an ice cream cake, you don’t dilute any of the unique flavors and the two desserts bring out the best in each other.
Because of this ice cream’s unique carrot and maple flavor combination, it makes a great autumn dessert as well. It is a good option to have at Thanksgiving for those who might want something a bit lighter than a pie after such a filling holiday meal. Regardless, there is no wrong time to make and eat this ice cream. Is there ever a wrong time for ice cream? I say no.