Oh, rhubarb, how I love you. From memories of picking it from my grandma’s big rhubarb plants in the yard to my discovery and subsequent obsession with rhubarb muffins two years ago, it conjures up nothing but good memories and great taste. It’s naturally bitter but is best friends with good ol’ sugar, and when those two get together, you get a unique sweet, tangy flavor that smells and tastes like summer itself. Thanks to my friend Amy, I am the new owner of a Cuisinart ice cream maker, and thanks to the first delivery from Harvest Moon Farms CSA, I had just enough rhubarb for …. ICE CREAM!
You don’t see rhubarb ice cream around much – in stores or in restaurants – and I don’t know why, because it is amazing! The rhubarb flavor is mild but unmistakeable and delicious. Here’s how I made it:
STEP 1: Rhubarb Coulis, or Syrup
1.5 C. sliced rhubarb
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. water
Slice up enough rhubarb to make 1.5 C (I used about 7 slender stalks), like this:
Put sliced rhubarb, 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 C water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until rhubarb is broken down and the mixture is pretty thick. TASTE IT and adjust sugar if needed.
Pour the mixture into a bowl or measuring cup and chill thoroughly in the fridge (for at least an hour). You should wind up with about 3/4 Cup.
STEP 2: The Ice Cream
1 C. whole milk
2 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C rhubarb coulis
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and pour into your ice cream maker bowl (which, of course, you should always keep in the freezer, so it is ready to go anytime you have a craving for ice cream!). Turn on ice cream maker and let ‘er rip for about 25-30 minutes.
When it’s ready, pour into freezer containers, and freeze thoroughly (a couple of hours). Be sure to sample several spoonfuls to be absolutely sure it is frozen summer perfection!
This recipe makes about 1.5 quarts (6 cups total). True Confession: I added some diced strawberries to the ice cream before freezing, but I’m not doing that again, because you wind up with hard, frozen little bits of strawberry. Instead, I recommend serving it with sliced strawberries on top for the optimum ice cream experience. Happy summer!