Parsnips are at their best at this time of year, February is always a good time for parsnips, and it’s certainly one of our favourites.
Parsnips have a history in Britain, we have cultivated the root vegetable for at least two centuries, but at one time parsnips and carrots went by the same name.
The parsnip used to be held in very high esteem. Especially by the Romans, although they began to drop out of favour due to the introduction of the humble potato, then further out of favour as the price of sugar decreased and became more readily available. After all parsnips, with their natural sweetness were often used in place of sugar to sweeten, for example a chocolate cake.
One of the more “exotic” items we came up with at Knockderry House Hotel is parsnip ice cream, which we serve with a warm chocolate torte.
Parsnip Ice Cream
4 Egg Yolks
300ml Double Cream
300ml Whole Milk
150g Caster Sugar
2 Parsnips (peeled and thinly sliced)
1. Put milk and cream in a heavy based saucepan and add the sliced parsnips
2. Boil the parsnips until soft and puree with a blender before passing through a sieve
3. Whisk egg yolks and sugar with a hand whisk, and add the parsnip mix
4. Pour slowly and whisk quickly otherwise your egg yolks will scramble
5. Cool the mix down then put it in the ice cream machine to churn but if you don’t have and ice cream machine put it in the freezer in a shallow tray and mix every hour until set.