I have a lot of catchup to do before I reach Twitter star status as Jake Godby and Sean Vahey of Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco have done with 300,000 fans. Word 'followers' at this level might make it sound like they are running a mega church not an ice-cream joint.
What attracted me to their first book, Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book (Chronicle Books, April 2012) written in collaboration with Paolo Lucchesi and photographs by Frankie Frankeny, was its offbeat flavors.
When was the last time you tasted flowers, beets and spices in your cone?
Hibiscus Beet Ice Cream Recipe
As you may have gathered elsewhere in this book, Humphry Slocombe attracts a wide range of clientele. One of our most loyal (and beloved!) contingents is something we’ve dubbed the stroller mafia.
Need to trick your kid into trying vegetables? Look no further than Hibiscus Beet, not just a fresh and delicious sorbet, but also our prettiest flavor. See, when kids choose their treats in the shop, they always seem to gravitate towards Hibiscus Beet’s vibrant, deep red color. Little do they know that there are whole roasted beets—full of vitamins and minerals—in that sorbet. Suckers!
In fact, Hibiscus Beet’s hue is so ridiculous that we billed it as “O Negative” during the vampire hoopla a few years back. We hear it was a big hit at the viewing parties.
Inspiration: At Corton, in New York City, chef Paul Liebrandt served a dish of foie gras with hibiscus-beet gelée.
2 medium beets (about 1/2 pound), roasted until very tender
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
10 dried hibiscus flowers
2 tbsp corn syrup
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 tsp salt
Makes 1 quart
Put the roasted beets in a blender and process to a smooth purée. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the hibiscus flowers and bring to a boil.
Stir in the beet purée and corn syrup and remove from the heat. Let cool completely, then add the lemon juice and salt. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl.
Cover the bowl tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. When you are ready to freeze the mixture, transfer it to an ice cream maker and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Eat immediately, or transfer to an airtight container, cover, and freeze for up to 1 week.
P.S: The scoop to the right of Hibiscus Beet in picture is Cayenne Cantaloupe, in case you wondered
Is this best before or after the soup?
(* Recipe from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book by Jake Godby and Sean Vahey with Paolo Lucchesi Photographs by Frankie Frankeny-Chronicle Books, April 2012, reprinted with permission of the publisher)