My mum receives an organic fruit and veggie box every week packed full of seasonal goodies from the wonderful people at Abel & Cole, who like me are lovers of collaboration. We received some organic rhubarb and some strawberries in our box and I thought to my self that summer is finally upon us, despite the weather taking a bit of a turn at the start of June. What better way to kick off the season than with some homemade ice cream, indulgent and luxurious. This flavour is a classic combination that some may remember from childhood boiled sweets.
How about serving it with some mini meringue kisses, (a great way of using up the egg whites) and some strawberries marinated in Amaretto liquor, a twist on the classic Eton mess or why not add some jelly, to make an adult version of a child’s favourite – knicker bocker glory.
There are a few different stages to this recipe, and a fair few ingredients, but please don’t be put off as the stages can be made in advance and refrigerated, ready for assembly the next day.
Ice Cream Base
100g Granulated Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste/Extract or 1 Vanilla Pod
500g tub Mascarpone Cheese
140ml Double Cream
Rhubarb Compote – Adapted from a Waitrose Recipe
Aprox. 400g Rhubarb (about 1 pack/bunch)
1 Vanilla pod, split / Vanilla Bean Paste/Extract
2tbsp Maple Syrup
60g Light Brown Sugar
2 Clementines, or a Splash of Orange Juice
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon, or 1 Cinnamon Stick
Meringues – Meringue Girls Recipe
400g Punnet of British Strawberries
1tbsp Maple Syrup or Caster Sugar
1tbsp Amaretto Liquor
Start by making the Rhubarb Compote
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and chop the rhubarb into sticks roughly 6-7cm long.
2. Place the rhubarb, vanilla, spices, sugar and clementines (peeled and sliced/or the juice) in an oven proof dish.
3. Cover with foil and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and baste with the maple syrup and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the rhubarb in tender.
4. Leave to cool, then remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick before blending to a smooth puree. Set aside in the fridge.
Next, prepare the Ice Cream Base
1. Combine the milk, vanilla and half the sugar in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat, and set aside for about 15 minutes to infuse the vanilla into the milk.
2. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar and beat until thick and pale. It’s best to use an electric whisk for this, but if you don’t have one just use a little elbow grease – think of all the calories you’ll save, ha!
3. Bring the milk back to the boil, then slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, ensuring to whisk steadily as the milk is added – we don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs.
4. This bowl can either be placed over a bowl of simmering water, or you can return the custard to the saucepan. If you are going to use the second option, ensure the pan is on a heat diffuser and use a thermometer to ensure you do not overheat the custard. Use a wooden spoon, or spatula to continually stir the custard untill it reaches 85 degrees c, or is thicker in consistency. It should coat the back of the spoon, and hold its shape when you run your finger through it.
5. Pour into a bowl and cover directly with cling film to stop a film forming, and then once cool refrigerate.
6. Once cool, beat the mascarpone, to loosen it and then beat in the custard mixture, along with the double cream. The mascarpone gives the ice cream a luxuriously thick and creamy texture, but you can substitute this for a 300ml carton of double cream instead if you want to (instead of the mascarpone and additional double cream).
7. This is ready to be poured into an ice cream maker, until it is thick and luxurious. If you do not have an ice cream maker you could try pouring it into a tub, freezing and churn it by hand every half hour/to an hour to break up the ice crystals. However, for best results use an ice cream maker, as the hand method will result in a less smooth result.
8. Once the ice cream is set, marble through 3/4 of the rhubarb puree. We will use the other 1/4 to drizzle over the ice cream later. Pour in a tub, and leave to firm up in the freezer.
1. Hull and quarter the strawberries, and add to a bowl.
2. Spoon over the maple syrup or sugar and add the liquor, mix together and set aside in the fridge, until ready to serve. If you are making this for children, you can leave the liquor out.
Assemble 2-3 scoops of ice cream, a spoonful of strawberries, a few meringues and jelly if you so wish and top with a little of the left over compote, and enjoy.
A girl with an appetite for all things creative,