Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rhubarb Crisp and Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

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Happy National Ice Cream Day! To celebrate, I used more of those tasty garden strawberries in some home made ice cream. I'm a fan of Cook's Illustrated magazine (and their TV show, America's Test Kitchen) because they tell me WHY I need to prepare a recipe a certain way. The scientist in me just wants to know why. This ice cream recipe is a custard style and it substituted some of the sugar with corn syrup to help reduce the ice crystals that usually form in home made ice cream. I have to say, it works, but it isn't a fast recipe (I mixed it up in about 15 minutes, but then you need to chill it and strain it before you freeze it). Haagen Daaz, watch out!

I know most people love the combo of strawberry rhubarb crisp/cobbler, but I don't like my strawberries all cooked and soggy, so I decided to try out this Taste of Home magazine recipe and used the version that had rhubarb and apples (and saved the strawberries for the ice cream). Tasty stuff. Mix the ice cream and the crisp together and YUMMY!

Both recipes and instructions are below.

Rhubarb Crisp

Quaker Oats Recipe


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
  • 2 cups sliced peeled apples or sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (next time, I'd use 1/4 C.)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour


  • In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and apples or strawberries; toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-in. square baking dish. (I doubled the recipe and used my 5 qt casserole)
  • In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender. (my doubled recipe baked for 65 min). Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

Premium Vanilla Ice Cream

Cook’s Illustrated, July./Aug 2011, Pg 23

1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste)

1 ¾ C. heavy cream

1 ¼ C. whole milk

½ C. plus 2 T sugar

1/3 C. light corn syrup

¼ t. salt

6 large egg yolks

Opt: 1/4 C. strawberry puree plus some sliced berries for texture (I used some fresh freezer jam and some berries instead).

1. Place an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan in the freezer to chill. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrap out the seeds. Combine vanilla bean, seeds, cream, milk ¼ C. plus 2 T sugar, corn syrup and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until steaming steadily and thermometer reaches 175. Remove from heat.

2. While milk is heating, whisk yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the heated milk mixture into eggs, then pour all of egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thermometer registers 180 and mixture has thickened slightly. Immediately pour mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool 10-20 minutes. Transfer 1 cup of mixture into a small bowl and cover both bowls with plastic wrap. Place large bowl in fridge and small bowl in freezer. Cool at least 4 hours or overnight (small bowl will freeze completely).

3. Remove custards from fridge and freezer. Scrape frozen custard into the bowl of refrigerated custard and stir until smooth. Strain custard through fine mesh sieve (Note: If using regular vanilla instead of vanilla bean, add it now). Transfer the mix to the ice cream freezer immediately. Churn until it resembles soft serve and is about 21 degrees (add the strawberry puree in the last 30-60 seconds). Transfer to the chilled baking dish, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream and freeze for about 1 hour.

4. After about an hour, transfer ice cream to an air tight container, pressing firmly to remove air pockets. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Keeps about 5 days.

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