Growing up in Northern Alberta, rhubarb was a staple. Rhubarb pie, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb jam, and even rhubarb relish. The vegetable really knows no limits in that neck of the woods. So I figured I would stay true to my roots and give it a chance to shine in some ice cream. And it did NOT disappoint!
Perfectly tart rhubarb is gently swirled in the most delicious creamy (even though I slimmed the recipe down) vanilla ice cream studded with real vanilla bean. It’s not exactly the way we were taught to serve vegetables in ‘Dietitian School’, but I’ve never liked to play by the rules!
- 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. water
Ice Cream Ingredients:
- 2 cups 18% cream
- 2 ½ cups 2% milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- ¼ cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
- Freeze the ice cream maker container for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
- Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat and simmer until the rhubarb is soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water at the beginning of the cooking process until the rhubarb starts to break down so that it doesn’t burn.
- In a small glass, combine the cornstarch and water and stir until smooth and the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the cooked rhubarb, stirring while adding, and cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes until the cornstarch has thickened the rhubarb and the mixture is no longer cloudy. Set aside to cool, cover and refrigerate.
- Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean length ways, open the pod, and scrape out the vanilla seeds with the back of a knife. Set both the bean and the seeds aside.
- Place a large saucepan on medium-low heat and add the cream, milk, vanilla (the bean and the scraped seeds) and sugar. Stir until the mixture starts to simmer, remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for approximately 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, remaining sugar and the pinch of salt and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes until the egg yolks are light.
- Add a soup ladle full of the warm cream mixture to the egg mixture, slowly and stirring while you add (this tempers the eggs and reduces the chance of the eggs curdling), and slowly add the tempered egg mixture to the cream, stirring while adding.
- Place the mixture back on the stove on low heat and stir constantly until the mixture JUST starts to thicken – immediately remove from the heat. Do NOT overcook this mixture as it will curdle and you will have scrambled eggs!
- Using a sieve, pour the cream mixture through the sieve (or strainer) and into a large bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Once the ice cream container is completely frozen, place the container onto the ice cream maker base, pour the cream mixture in, and turn on the machine.
- When the ice cream is completely frozen (it will still be soft at this point), gently fold in your cooled rhubarb mixture.
- Pour the ice cream into a container of your choice and freeze for at least 2 hours before enjoying!