Rhubarb Ice-Cream

May I quote one of my favorite cookbooks? "Rhubarb - you either love it or you loathe it." That said, if you love rhubarb, you will love this ice-cream! Big, strong, and bold in taste, color, and stature, rhubarb demands ample added sweetener - corn syrup and sugar in this case - or it will make your mouth pucker up. This recipe preserves the characteristic fruity tartness of rhubarb while offering the mellow creaminess of dairy-based ice-cream. The ultimate spring dessert for rhubarb connoisseur, this ice-cream is sure to get any rhubarb beginner hooked on those reddish celery-like stalks. You will wish spring lasted all year long! :-)

Ingredients (makes a lot of ice-cream - depending on the size of your ice-cream maker, you may want to either half the recipe or freeze the mixture in two batches):

1 pd. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup water
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 additional egg yolk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream

Tip: Typically, fresh rhubarb is only available in supermarkets, natural food stores and at farmer's markets in early spring. If it's out of season, frozen rhubarb can be substituted.


1. Combine the rhubarb, water, and lime juice in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb has broken down and resembles thick applesauce, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the corn syrup, return to a simmer, and cook 2 minutes longer. Let the mixture cool slightly and purée in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the egg and egg yolk until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch. Set aside.

4. Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Very slowly beat the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spatula until the custard thickens slightly. (Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble.)

5. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the rhubarb purée and cream. Cover and refrigerate until cool or overnight.

6. Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in one or two batches in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When finished, the ice-cream will be soft, but ready to eat. For firmer ice-cream transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.

In season at the same time, pair this ice-cream with fresh, hulled strawberries. They are the perfect dessert partners! ... Enjoy!