As I grow more confident in my culinary skills, I find that I am more easily inspired by the foods around me. When I’m dining out, I scrutinize the food I’m eating more closely, and remember the flavors and other characteristics I want to recreate at home. Case in point: I had never eaten rhubarb ice cream until last week when I wandered in to a small ice cream shop called, N’ice Cream, in Santa Monica. Actually, it was a sorbet, and it was incredibly delicious. It was very light and refreshing! The rhubarb sorbet had a fresh, clean taste and a beautiful pale pink color. I heard the voice in my head say “I can make that!” Actually, I love hearing the voice inside my head say that more and more.
Confidence is empowering!
The recipe I adapted, while richer and denser, was just as enjoyable as the sorbet. It still had a distinct rhubarb flavor, despite the addition of some strawberries, not necessarily for the flavor, but to ensure that I would achieve that same happy hue as the sorbet. This rhubarb ice cream was luscious, with a sweet, yet slightly tart flavor . We liked it so much that we finished it in a couple of days.
All’s well, though, as I just put the ice cream maker bowl back in the freezer…
Rhubarb Ice Cream
Yields 2 pints
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (if using frozen rhubarb, do not thaw)
4 ounces strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced in quarters
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, strawberries, 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and cook over low heat until rhubarb releases its juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until rhubarb mixture has a soft jam like consistency, about 20 minutes. (Optional: I strained the rhubarb mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl because I wanted a completely smooth ice cream.) Transfer to a bowl.
Whisk egg yolks lightly. In a saucepan, combine milk and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil. Temper egg yolks by gradually whisking milk mixture into yolks. Return to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Using a fine-meshed sieve, strain into a bowl to catch any of the egg that might have cooked.
Add rhubarb mixture, cream, and vanilla extract. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Pour chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Store ice cream in an airtight container.
Adapted from Chef de Cuisine (who adapted it from Williams-Sonoma Taste).
Other rhubarb recipes you might like:
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