I know I’ve been absent from the blog lately, but it’s not entirely my fault. I blame last week’s never-ending rain for dampening my blogging enthusiasm. Luckily the sun finally emerged from behind the soggy clouds this weekend, and with one trip to the Park Slope farmers’ market, my excitement for spring—and cooking—returned in full force.
I wandered through the market on Saturday morning, canvas bag in hand, trying to decide what to buy. Piles of bright green spinach and asparagus beckoned from the fruit and vegetable stands. Long lines formed in front of the meat and fishmongers, while small children begged their parents to buy them breakfast pastries. I restrained myself from buying a bouquet of fresh wild flowers, and instead came home with a quart of strawberries and several stalks of rhubarb.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a plan for these seasonal wonder twins. It was time to banish those rainy days with the powerful duo of sweet, red strawberries and tart rhubarb. It was time for ice cream.
Making ice cream has turned into a new hobby for Jim and me. Actually, my husband has turned out to be quite the ice cream master. We joined forces on Valentine’s Day to make a lush blood orange sorbet, but in the past month Jim has experimented with French vanilla and fresh plum ice creams, all on his own. With his guidance on Saturday I churned out my pink-hued treat, asking him for advice on warming the milk and how many egg yolks were needed.
When we finally scooped the finished ice cream from the bowl, small flecks of red strawberries glowed against the frozen mixture of milk, cream, eggs, and rhubarb. A perfect mix of vibrantly sweet berries and tart, electric rhubarb, each creamy bite awakened my weary winter palate. The addition of crystallized ginger added a tingly current of heat to this cold dessert, further preparing me for the fresh flavors we have yet to enjoy this spring. What a way to celebrate the season. And just think, it only gets better from here.
Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream (adapted from the blog Very Good Things)
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups finely chopped strawberries
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the rhubarb and water to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until rhubarb is very soft. Pulse it through a food processor and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until bright yellow and blended. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Do not scald the milk and cream. Gradually whisk the milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture.
Return the entire mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick. Do not let it boil. Strain it into a large bowl. Cool to room temperature.
Stir in the cooked rhubarb, strawberries, and ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I used my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, and I think I should have churned the ice cream in 2 separate batches. The amount of ice cream mixture was slightly too much to be churned in one batch. Anyway, this recipe serves 8. Enjoy!