Strawberries and rhubarb go together like, well, two ingredients that taste great when combined. Enough of the pleasantries lets get into it. This strawberry rhubarb ice cream is a delightfully delicious springtime dessert perfect for late afternoon garden parties. The best part is that this recipe is so easy to make. If you like making jam or preserves, then this ice cream will be an absolute breeze.
This strawberry rhubarb ice cream recipe uses a similar method to most fruit forward ice creams. In fact it’s just like my regular, but delicious, strawberry ice cream. The only difference of course being one ingredient.
Making fruit based ice creams is a great way to use up all that spring and summer produce you have. Or, if you are at the grocery store and see cheap fruit about to go bad you can turn it into a tasty frozen treat to preserve it. The added benefit is that overripe fruits tend to be even sweeter and flavorful than normal!
What Is A Rhubarb
For those that don’t know, a rhubarb is not a fruit even though it is commonly paired with fruits in culinary applications. It is actually the thick leafstem of a flowering plant in the knotweed family. Rhubarb is most commonly seen in pies, as the naturally tart flavor relaxes when stewed.
What You’ll Need
As with all of my ice cream recipes on Scoops of Delight, you need an ice cream machine. The exact style and brand does not matter too much but you do want one that is decent quality. I personally use the Smeg ice cream maker. The only issue with it is that you need to already have a Smeg stand mixer – which can be quite pricey. While there are plenty of recipes for no-churn ice creams, I often find a properly churned ice cream magnitudes better.
Some other things you will need for this homemade ice cream recipe are:
- Mixing Bowls
- Steel Pans (I personally find steel the best for making ice cream, but you can use any as long as you are careful about the temperature.
- Rubber Spatula
- Sealable Container (The best thing to use to store homemade ice cream is plastic in my opinion. You want something that is more flat than tall as it provides more surface area to quickly freeze in a home freezer).
- Kitchen Scale (optional, but recommended as almost all of my recipes use metric as it is more precise than imperial for most home cooks).
How To Make Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream
This strawberry rhubarb ice cream recipe is so simple – although it is not as fast as other ice creams flavored with pastes such as chocolate or pistachio. Note: Chocolate and strawberry also go well together, but that has a much different method to make.
500 grams Strawberries (you can use fresh or frozen, both work well in this recipe as you are cooking them down anyways).
300 grams Rhubarb (ideally you will want the most ripe stems possible, but if they are green on the inside that is fine too as they also get stewed for a long time).
400 ml Heavy Cream (36% or higher)
200 ml Milk (3.5% or higher, ideally)
150 grams Sugar
1 tbsp Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Egg Yolks (not pictured, optional)
Begin by prepping your strawberries and rhubarb. Remove the green stems or leaves and cut into small pieces. Place in a pot with the lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Set on low heat and stir every 5 minutes until well reduced (about one hour, can be longer).
The goal is to reduce the fruit as much as possible so the water content does not dilute the flavor when combined with the cream. In this instance I was able to get about a kilo of ingredients (fruit plus sugar) down to just 215 grams, or nearly and 80% reduction. This super thick, jam-like paste is so concentrated it will flavor the strawberry rhubarb ice cream without much dilution.
I know using egg yolks in fruit ice creams can be contentious, so consider this step optional. I however love it. Beat four egg yolks and slowly trickle them into the hot jam while whisking constantly. Egg yolk helps provide for a very creamy consistency, and unless you are extra sensitive the final ice cream should not taste ‘eggy’.
Place the strawberry rhubarb jam into a large bowl and add the milk and cream. Whisk everything together until you have a uniform, homogenous mixture. Place in the fridge to chill completely.
Note: You may be wondering why I added the egg directly to the jam instead of heating up the milk to make a more traditional French style custard. I did this for two reasons. The main reason is that the super concentrated fruit reduction was already so thick and sticky I didn’t need to use the eggs to thicken the dairy. I added eggs for the density they provide when churning a more creamy ice cream. The second is that the jam was hot enough to cook the yolk without putting it back on the stove, so it just saved me a bit of time.
Churning The Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream
Place your strawberry rhubarb base into your ice cream machine. Run according to your machine’s instructions. In my case it took a half hour. Woah did it just turn orange?! Okay, for some reason rhubarb causes the base to turn orange when mixed when cream rather than pink (like strawberry alone). I am guessing it is because of the chlorophyl in rhubarb stalks as opposed to fruits which don’t have that. Either way, the orange is still a beautiful color.
Place the churned strawberry rhubarb ice cream into the freezer to set. I was unsure if I wanted to garnish the finished ice cream but ultimately decided on some candied rhubarb. Here’s how to make candied rhubarb:
- Take a stalk of rhubarb and thinly slice it into strips.
- Place the strips in a pan with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of water. Put on medium high heat and let cook until candied. Stir constantly.
- Remove candied rhubarb and put on a cutting board. Use a fork to separate the strands (yes I know it looks like I just killed an animal in my kitchen) and let cool completely.
Scoop some of your homemade strawberry rhubarb ice cream into a bowl and drape over the candied rhubarb. Enjoy!
Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream
- 500 grams Strawberries you can use fresh or frozen, both work well in this recipe as you are cooking them down anyways.
- 300 grams Rhubarb ideally you will want the most ripe stems possible, but if they are green on the inside that is fine too as they also get stewed for a long time.
- 400 ml Heavy Cream 36% or higher
- 200 ml Milk 3.5% or higher, ideally
- 150 grams Sugar
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 Egg Yolks not pictured, optional
- Remove any leaves or greenery on the strawberries and rhubarb and cut into small pieces. Place in a pot with the sugar, salt, and lemon juice.
- Put pot on medium heat and let cook until very reduced. Stir every five minutes or so. This step takes me around one hour to reduce around 80% by weight.
- In a small bowl beat together the four egg yolks. Once your strawberry rhubarb reduction is at your desired consistency, trickle in the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Move mix to a large bowl.
- Add milk and cream and whisk to combine everything. Place in the fridge to chill completely.
- Place the ice cream mix into your machine and run according to your machine's instructions. The move churned ice cream to a sealable container and place in the freezer to fully solidify before serving. Enjoy!
Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream
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