I wish rhubarb was easier to find in New Orleans. Unfortunately it is not local and therefore quite expensive and only available a few weeks per year. I have a tendency to splurge on ice cream ingredients though, so a bunch of rhubarb went into my shopping cart this week. Last year around this time I churned a batch of Rhubarb Lime Sherbet which was tart and refreshing. This time around I wanted to use the pink vegetable to make a more hearty and comforting scoop.
The taste of rhubarb is pleasingly tart and tangy lending itself quite well to a creamy base. When cooked and mixed with sugar, the taste reminds me of a tart strawberry. While researching ideas about how to incooporate the rhubarb into ice cream, I found a intriguing recipe on the blog Not Without Salt. I remember reading the recipe last year when Ashley used the pink scoop to announce she was pregnant with a girl, but I never got around to making it. Braising the rhubarb in butter and brown sugar is genius and really adds an unctuous quality to the ice cream. And do make the shortbread cookies to eat the with the ice cream - the flavor combination and crunchy cookies elevate this scoop to another level. Enjoy!
Rhubarb Ice Cream with Oatmeal Shortbread
Recipe reprinted with permission from Not With Salt by Ashley Rodriguez
3 to 3 1/2 cups Rhubarb, chopped in 1/2″ chunks
2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter
1 Vanilla bean, seeds removed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar, not packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
7-10 drops cherry blossom extract (optional; rose water also good option)
Combine the rhubarb, butter, vanilla bean and seeds, vanilla extract, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan. Cover and place on medium-low heat. Simmer until Rhubarb is soft (about 10-15 minutes).
Remove the lid and break up the Rhubarb with a wooden spoon. Remove vanilla bean. In a medium bowl combine the cream and milk then add the braised Rhubarb. Add the cherry blossom extract if you are lucky enough to have some. Let chill completely.
Churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
1 1/2 sticks butter, softenend
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup ground oatmeal (this can be done in a blender or food processor)
1 cup flour
Cream the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the ground oatmeal and flour. Stir just to combine.
Turn out dough onto parchment and roll into a 2″ log, wrap and chill.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice chilled log into 1/4″ discs – if you want them to look perfect use a 1 1/2″ round cutter. Sprinkle the tops with oatmeal then bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool on a wire rack then serve with your ice cream.