Parsnip Crème brûlée with carrot & tarragon sorbet

Parsnip creme brulee1 A sweet history...

Parsnip has been used as a vegetable since antiquity and was cultivated by the Romans, although there is some confusion in the literature of the time between parsnips and carrots.

It was used as a sweetener before the arrival in Europe of cane sugar.

It was introduced into the United States in the nineteenth century.


For the parsnip crème brûlée:

50gr.                whole milk ( ½ cup) 150gr.               heavy cream (1 ½ cups) 2                      egg yolks 1/3 c.               brown sugar 50gr.                Parsnip purée (1 parsnip, peeled and cubed + 125ml milk + 1 tbsp. sugar + 2 orange zest)

  1. Place the diced parsnip into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a quick boil, drain and refresh.
  2. Place the blanched parsnip back into the saucepan and add the milk, sugar and orange zest. Bring to a simmer and gently cook until the liquid is totally evaporated.
  3. Purée the parsnip. Turn the oven to 325ºF.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth and slightly pale.
  5. In a saucepan or a microwave, warm the cream and the milk. Pour the hot liquid on the egg/sugar mixture, add the parsnip purée and mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture directly into ramekins and place on a deep baking dish.
  7. Pour hot water into the baking dish so that is it half way up the ramekins.
  8. Bake until they are just set (15-20 mns) and cool immediately.
  9. Place in the fridge until completely set and cooled. To brûlée the crème: dust first with a little icing sugar  to absorbe any remaining moisture from the top, then sprinkle with a little granulated sugar. Using a (plumber) blow torch, caramelize the crème by moving the flame in a circular motion 1 inch away from the layer of sugar, gently melting it first. By always moving the flame, the sugar with eventually evenly caramelized.

For the carrot & tarragon sorbet:

200gr           sugar 200gr           water 2 tbsp.         honey 2                 branch of fresh tarragon or 1 tsp. dry tarragon 1 tbsp.         lemon juice 2                 gelatine leaves (optional) 325gr           carrot juice 125ml          Orange juice

  1. Combine the water with the sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes to completely dissolve the sugar. Add the tarragon and the softened gelatine (optional), mix well and steep for 5 minutes. Strain thought a fine sieve.
  2. Add the carrot and orange juice and allow cooling.
  3. Pour into an ice-cream maker. Follow manufacturer direction to make the sorbet.


Also featured on CBC Homestretch  with Doug Dirks & Jenny Howe