When I was a child I lived in what is known as the rhubarb triangle in Yorkshire, a triangle of land between Bradford, Wakefield, and Leeds where most of the UK’s forced rhubarb is grown. My parents, like most of the parents of my school friends, had a big patch of rhubarb at the top of the garden. Even though we regularly raided it for our snacks and puddings the patch just seemed to get bigger and bigger. I can remember many happy summer days where the mid-afternoon snack was a big stick of rhubarb cut into large chunks and sprinkled with white sugar. It was absolutely delicious but you really did need the sugar to stop it tasting too sour All through the summer the typical Sunday pudding after our family Sunday roast was Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream. This recipe brings those tastes together and reminds me of Sunday afternoons sitting around the dinner table asking for seconds when my tummy was really too full to enjoy it. This ice cream takes a bit more effort than a lot of my ice cream recipes but it really is worth it.
A few words about measurements before we start
Living in France I use metric measurements, but I have converted these to American measurements for those of you who are reading this on the other side of the pond. Metric and American measurements do not convert exactly so I have rounded up or down as the recipe dictates. You will notice a discrepancy in the milk and cream quantity. Double Cream which is common in Europe is a lot heavier than Heavy Cream and so I use it roughly in the formula of two-thirds milk to one-third cream. When I have converted this for American readers it is better to use a milk to the cream formula of half and a half.
A Recipe for Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
For the Crumble Mix
75g or two-thirds of a cup of Plain Flour
75g or two-thirds of a stick of Butter
75g or two-thirds of a cup of Brown Sugar
Half a teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
25g or one tablespoon of Ground Almonds
For the Ice Cream
400g or two cups of Rhubarb (cut into chunks of about 3 or 4 cm)
150g or two-thirds of a cup of White Sugar
Juice from Half a Lemon
200ml Double Cream or 1 cup of Heavy Cream
300ml Full Fat Milk or 1 cup of Milk
4 Egg Yolks
Seeds from half a Vanilla Pod
30ml or 1 tablespoon of Water
To make the Rhubarb Ice Cream
Place the cut Rhubarb in a pan with the water, lemon juice and a third of the sugar and cook until the rhubarb is soft. Once this has softened use a hand held whisk or blender to bring it to a pureed consistency. Leave to one side and let it cool.
Whilst the rhubarb is cooling scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the cream and milk and heat until it is almost boiling. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. When it is almost at the point when it is going to boil take it off the heat and leave to one side
In another bowl take the egg yolks and the remainder of the sugar and whisk together until you have a creamy mixture. Pour this into the cream mixture and return to the heat cooking over a low heat for about ten minutes until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Once this has thickened add the rhubarb and stir well.
Pour the mixture into your Ice Cream Maker and churn.
To make the Crumble Mix
Place all your ingredients into a bowl and mix with your fingers until you have a crumble mix. I tend to mix for about ten minutes with my fingers and then stir it with a fork. Scatter your crumble mix over a non-stick baking tray and bake in the oven at about 180C /375F for 15 minutes. The crumble should be crunchy but not burnt. Put to one side and let it cool.
Once cold add to the ice cream mixture when the ice cream has about five minutes churning time to go.