This rhubarb crumble ice cream is my take on the traditional rhubarb crumble with its tangy flavor against a rich, creamy custard, interspersed with crunchy bits.
With National Ice Cream Day approaching, I’ll be sharing a few ice cream recipes this week to celebrate my favorite food holiday! If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know how much I love ice cream, even more so than tarts, pies, or other sweets. The first recipe that I’ll be sharing is a delicious and tangy rhubarb crumble ice cream made with rhubarb from my garden.
Rhubarb stalk resembles celery in appearance and is known for its tart flavor. To get the best tasting rhubarb, look for stalks that are dark red and thinner. They tend to be sweeter and more tender.
Roasting rhubarb with a generous amount of sugar will intensify its flavor and reduce the tartness. Cut the rhubarb into small chunks so they don’t become tooth-breaking ice cubes once frozen. After roasting, the small chunks will become tender and break down further during the churning process. For this recipe, I used most of the roasted rhubarb in the ice cream and saved some for ice cream topping.
How to make crumble
My crumble is a simple mixture of all purpose flour, butter, and sugar, spiced with cinnamon that gets baked in the oven to crisp up. They stay relatively soft and add a nice texture to the ice cream. Keep them pea sized or larger when breaking up the crumble so they don’t get lost once churned with the ice cream.
Tips for making ice cream base
When making the custard, keep the heat low and gentle otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled egg. Pay attention to the consistency as the base cooks and goes from liquid to a thin soup like texture. You can test for readiness by dipping a spatula into the base, running your finger across the spatula to see if the path created by your finger holds for a few seconds. If the base doesn’t start running down the spatula, the custard is ready. I always strain my base to remove any solids.
After churning and letting the custard firm up overnight, you get a delicious rhubarb crumble ice cream with a tangy flavor interspersed with caramelized rhubarb bits and crunchy crumble. This ice cream is the perfect treat to enjoy rhubarb from spring until fall.
Rhubarb crumble ice cream
- Ice cream machine
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb, cut it into ½-inch chunks.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- 4 tbsps unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ice cream base
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup 2% milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 small egg yolks
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- Place chopped rhubarb in baking dish. Scatter sugar over and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and toss in pod. Let the mixture sit until rhubarb releases some juices, about 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roast rhubarb, tossing once, until tender and juices are syrupy, about 25 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature.
- To make the crumble, in a medium prep bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Use your fingers and rub the mixture together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Refrigerate the crumble for 15 minutes until chilled.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the chilled crumble mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let it cool completely before breaking it into small pieces. Store the crumble in a tight-lidded container until ready to use.
Ice cream base
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up and whisk in ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
- In a heavy non-reactive saucepan, combine cream, milk, salt and ¼ cup sugar.
- Put the pan over medium heat and let the mixture boil gently to bubbling just around the edges (gentle simmer). Reduce the heat to low.
- Carefully measure out ½ cup of hot cream mixture. Whisk in the hot cream mixture while whisking the eggs constantly. Continue tempering the eggs by adding another ½ cup of hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.
- Pour the cream-egg mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it is thickened and coats the back of a spatula, about 12-15 minutes.
- Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in an ice bath until cold, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 2 hours or overnight. I like to refrigerate the base overnight for the most flavor.
- When ready to churn the ice cream, whisk the creme fraiche, fold in half of the roasted rhubarb and ½ cup of crumble into the ice cream base.
- Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Spin until thick and creamy about 25-30 minutes.
- Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, scoop ice cream into bowls. Top with remaining roasted rhubarb and extra crumble. (optional)