Pure morning – Burnt honey, vanilla, and parsnip ice-cream

It’s the light, a cold blue grey. It’s the window, adorned with pearls. It’s the wind, carrying the scent of moss and ocean.

And just like you don’t even have to think to know you’ve fallen deep-hard in love, I didn’t have to look through the open window to know we’d been surrounded by cotton overnight.

Yes, that morning – or perhaps more accurately, early afternoon – I could feel autumn. And tea was brewed. And porridge got made, with freshly cracked black pepper and a pinch of fleur de sel. Don’t ask, it’s a favourite.

I got the ice-cream machine started too.

You see, the night before, I had chopped parsnips and cooked them in burnt honey and loads of vanilla, until shiny. I had then added milk and blitzed the whole thing.

Because that’s what we do. We chop and cook and bake and blitz and pass and chill and whisk and scrape and fold.

That morning, I also got some really exciting news. Yes, the ones I told you about. And rather literally, it’s gonna be one hell of a rainbow.
Not unlike porn for pastry chefs. Not unlike closing your eyes / making a wish / opening your eyes / making it happen.

I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

Burnt honey, vanilla, and parsnip ice-cream

This ice-cream is inspired by a Christmas lunch I had years ago, where parsnips got roasted with honey and vanilla until the edges were crunchy, and the flesh sweet and fluffy.
That day, we ate them with the biggest turkey I had even seen, stuffed with chestnuts and apples.

The process couldn’t be easier. The honey and vanilla get cooked until foamy, then the parsnips are tossed around. And really, I can’t insist enough: use young, small parsnips. They’re sweeter and firmer.

The ice-cream tastes sweet and earthy, just like the parsnips I had years ago. You should try it with a slice of brownies or a rich chocolate cake. Please do.

Burnt honey, vanilla, and parsnip ice-cream

makes 1L-ish of ice-cream

50 g chestnut honey
500 g peeled and diced parsnips
one vanilla pod
100 g caster sugar
350 g whole milk
400 g double cream

Place the honey, vanilla seeds and pod in a large pan set over high heat and cook until foamy and fragrant. Add the parsnip dices and stir well to coat.
Deglaze with the milk and bring to the boil. Simmer with a lid on for 15-20 minutes, or until the parsnip is cooked through.
Handblend for 6 minutes or until smooth. Add the cream and blend a bit more. Pass through a fine sieve. Clingfilm to the touch and chill for at least 4 hours or better, overnight.
Churn according to your ice-cream machine instructions, and keep in the freezer for an hour or so before serving. It’s pretty delicious with anything chocolate.

12 thoughts on “Pure morning – Burnt honey, vanilla, and parsnip ice-cream

  • A. September 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Parsnip ice-cream? Sounds crazy. Week-end project for sure. x

  • Natasha September 28, 2012 at 2:17 am

    This sounds gorgeous. My boyfriend about died when he saw this. He has a major thing for parsnips. I have a major thing for honey and vanilla. Kinda perfect.

  • Paula September 28, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I won’t ask about porridge with black pepper and fleur de sel, I think is better to taste, cos it doesn’t sound as bad!! :)

    And the ice cream, I like to play with the flavours, but never taste one so special!!

  • Pauline September 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Oh my, Fanny! I’m more of a “silent reader” kind of girl, but I’ve just got to come out and say it, because this post got me to exclaim out loud in front of my computer: this is pure genius, and I think you’re so talented (OK, now I sound like a crazy stalker…).
    Merci pour toutes les jolies photos, les histoires qui font rêver, et les listes de petites joies et de grands projets (bientôt, c’est sûr, je prendrai la checklist du début et j’en viendrai à bout)! J’attends avec impatience ton livre, et la suite!

  • Kat September 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm


    You don’t say when to put the sugar in! I’m going to add it with the honey and vanilla bean… Fall flavoured icecream, I love it!

  • andrea September 30, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Hi fanny!
    I came across your blog when i was searching about internship at pierre herme. I love your pictures and stories :)
    As it happens to be i am also living in London and previously studied pastry in france, even though i didn’t take my CAP at ecole nationale superiure de la patisserie. Currently I am working in the pastry section of a 2 michelin star restaurant. I feel like i have learned and seen a lot over the 1 year. i have been offered an internship position at pierre hermes in paris next year, but I’m still feeling un sure if it would be worth the living expenses and having been an intern before in paris at la patisserie des reves I’m a bit scarred that all i would b doing is scaling, peeling fruits n decorating. please let me know if you learnt alot there and i would love to hear some insights. thx a lot!

  • Jo October 9, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Hi Fanny! the ice cream sounds brilliant. Love the sound of burnt honey, vanilla and parsnip. I need to hunt down some parsnip now. Unfortunately, they are pretty hard to get from where I live. I hope you are enjoying fall so far!

  • Maria @ Scandi Foodie October 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    This is such an interesting recipe! It’s almost summer here in Sydney so this will be absolutely perfect, thank you!

  • kat November 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    looks great!!!

    i love your blog!

    your posts are an inspiration!

    have a nice day,


  • Nathalie November 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Je découvre la recette un peu tard pour les glaces mais j’adore l’idée du panais en dessert ! / A little late for icecream but love the idea of sweet parsnip !

  • Anne May 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    This sounds absolutely delicious, especially with a chocolate brownie / pudding. Right up my street! I will be making it next Autumn. I am so glad I have just discovered your blog through the Little Loaf blog. Thanks Kate! I look forward to exploring it too. I am loving the fact that it is spattered throughout with a little French as well. C’est superbe!

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