Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

I had gotten some of the end-of-season rhubarb and was discussing this with a friend in early July.  She shared that strawberry rhubarb was her favorite pie, and while I considered for a moment making that, I saw this recipe from the Scoop Adventures cookbook and knew I wanted to put it together.  The spice flavor is nice in it — although it’s important to like how cardamom tastes.  I associate cardamom with my Norwegian roots, as I do rhubarb, and so when I tasted this, I felt like I was celebrating my heritage.

Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream.jpg

Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl

1 c chopped rhubarb
1 c mashed strawberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Ice Cream Base
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 3/4 c heavy cream
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

To make the strawberry rhubarb swirl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Stir until the berries have begun to macerate, then place over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb and strawberries are broken down, 10 to 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half of its original volume, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla.  Cover and chill completely before swirling into the ice cream.

To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of milk with the cornstarch, whisk, and set aside.  Combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, star anise, cardamom, and cinamon in a medium saucepan.  Place over medium heat and bring the milk mixture to a low boil.  Cook until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in the salt.  Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Spoon a small layer of strawberry rhubarb swirl into a freezer-safe container and light spoon a layer of ice cream on top.  Continue to alternate layers of fruit swirl and ice cream until the container is full, gently swirling with a spoon (careful not to muddy the ice cream).  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

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