Cooling Off With Ruby Rhubarb

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As the heat wave hits me in New York City, so does my intense craving for all things cooling, thus the ice cream making obsession.

Since before spring began, the media has been suffused with desserts involving rhubarb. Such recipes delight me, except I’ve never cooked with it. I decided to change that this past weekend and kill the sting of the hot sun all in one go and so I picked up one long, thick stock of the dark pink vegetable along with some strawberries and an orange.

I have a baseline recipe for crème anglaise to work with so that was easy; it was the creation of the fruit syrup that kind of got me. The amount of sugar for the syrup is only a suggestion as I’m not sure how much I used in total. I’m almost certain that what is listed will work, but you might just need a little more.

Rhubarb, Strawberry Ice-Cream Scented with Orange Zest and Rosewater
Makes 1 quart

Crème Anglaise:
1 cup/250ml Heavy Cream
1 cup/250ml Milk
Or 2 cups/500mls Half and Half
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup/75g sugar
A wide strip of the peel of an orange

1. Bring cream, milk and orange peel to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat; let stand 1 to 2 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add a little milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Add mixture to saucepan, whisking constantly, and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats the back of the spoon, then immediately pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set in ice-water bath (once you do this, discard the orange peel). Cover custard with a piece of plastic wrap so it is directly touching the surface and let cool completely. Remove from ice-water bath and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Fruit Base:
1 long, thick stock of rhubarb
1 small package (16oz) of fresh strawberries
Zest of an orange (minus the bit used for the anglaise)
1 teaspoon rosewater
1 ¼ cup/280 grams sugar

1. Wash and cut the stock of rhubarb into small cubes. Then wash and halve the strawberries. 2. Place fruit in a saucepan and then add zest, rosewater and about three tablespoons of water and place over medium heat. Allow to cook until syrupy and fruit has almost completely dissolved. Taste it and if you feel it needs more sugar then go ahead and add it, but allow the mixture to come to a bubble again in order to help it dissolve. 3. Strain and keep the liquid for the ice-cream. The rest can be used to smear on toast the next morning. Allow to cool and place in fridge until ready to use.

Ice-Cream:
Once everything is cooled and you are ready to use your ice-cream machine, combine both mixtures and then follow your machines instructions.
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Once the ice-cream is fully frozen, serve and enjoy!

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