I find it is most efficient to make multiple batches of ice cream at once. You already have the ice cream maker out and have gotten the ice – and for me, my freezer can’t store that much ice, so I have to buy it and use it immediately if I want enough for ice cream. I mentioned when I posted the Grilled Apricot Ice Cream that I tend to have two ice cream recipes – one with egg white and one with egg yolks. Since I make multiple batches at a time, obviously this is then the recipe with egg yolks.
Texturally, the two recipes are very different. While I don’t create a full on custard with the yolks, it is a much richer base that is much smoother from the first bite. On the sort-of downside it needs more intense flavors to hold up in it and melts very quickly once out of the freezer. Not a recipe I would recommend for making ice cream cake or sandwiches or to try and take anywhere.
I first made this recipe a few years back when I was experimenting with preserving produce and ended up with preserved rhubarb I didn’t have anything else to do with. I also had a lot of fennel plants in the garden at the time, so a spiced rhubarb ice cream was tried.
I really like the unique flavor profile of this treat. Not holding up well to manipulation aside, it is a little too complex to be a base for creations or toppings, except maybe a ginger snap or two. But it is an elegant, super creamy, spring treat when you want a satisfying scoop of ice cream. The brown sugar offers a rich base for the hint of spices and the not overly sweet rhubarb keeps it fresh and seasonal.
Rhubarb Spice Ice Cream
- 2 large egg yolks about 2 ½ tbsp of yolks
- 2/3 c brown sugar
- 2 ½ c cream
- ¼ c fennel seed
- 10 cardamom pods
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3/4 c diced preserved rhubarb and liquid*
- Gently muddle spices together, just enough to break open cardamom pods and lightly crush peppercorns and fennel seed.
- Heat cream in a small sauce pan until not quite simmering.
- Remove from heat, add spices and allow to soak for 1 hour. Strain through cheese cloth – squeezing to extract all the flavor.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water until pale and syrupy. Continue beating until mixture is hot to the touch (120F).
- Remove from heat. Whisk in cream in a steady stream.
- Cover and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Fold in ½ c rhubarb and all of liquid and churn according to your ice cream maker.
- When ice cream is almost done (holds its shape), add remaining rhubarb and churn for a further 5 minutes.
- Scrape out of ice cream maker into storage containers and freeze until firm.
Cut rhubarb into ½” wide by 2” long pieces.
Blanch rhubarb pieces for 10 seconds in boiling water and instantly cool by plunging into ice water.
Pack into a jar and pour hot sugar syrup (1 part water to 1 part granulated sugar) over them until covered.
Seal and store in the fridge.