I am so happy to be back blogging today. I am officially back from baby hibernation and it’s glorious!
Today is a very special day. Not only is it the first day of July, and hence the start of National Ice Cream Month, but it is also my first blog post since The Husband and I welcomed Baby Sugar into our lives!
When thinking about what ice cream flavor to make for 365scoops’ grand “re-opening” I felt it fitting to write about the marriage of my two favorite desserts: strawberry rhubarb anything (err, pie or crumble) and ice cream.
I have always had a love affair with strawberry rhubarb pie. I literally cannot get enough of it. One of my more embarrassing restaurant experiences happens to involve strawberry rhubarb pie. The Husband took me out to a yummy dinner for my birthday. My only request was warm strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert. The pie came and lo and behold, it was cold. I sent it back. It came again, and alas, still cold. The Hubby, who is normally a very reserved, I’m-not-going-to-return-my-food-and-bother-the-waiter-I’ll-eat-it-no-matter-what kind of guy said, “just eat it, who cares” to which I responded ever so kindly, “oh hell no”. I gently reminded him that it was my birthday and would he be so kind as to ask the server again to bring a warm slice of pie. Consider it my birthday gift, I told him. The Husband begrudgingly motioned for the server to come over, for a third time, and provide us with a warm slice of pie. Picture little beads of sweat pooling on The Husband’s forehead and upper lip. Picture me sinking in my chair out of shear embarrassment and fear. And now picture a piping hot slice of strawberry rhubarb pie landing at our table. That, my friends, was splendid.
This recipe is a perfect fusion of pie and ice cream. Picture rich vanilla bean ice cream with chunks of strawberry rhubarb crumble. Talk about delicious! For this recipe you’ll make a simple strawberry rhubarb crumble and throw chunks of it into freshly churned vanilla bean ice cream. It’s like deconstructed pie a-la-mode. Need I say more?
For the vanilla bean ice cream:
3 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the strawberry rhubarb crumble:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus ¼ – ½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 Tbsp vanilla paste
1 pound strawberries, hulled, and sliced (approximately 1 container)
12 ounces rhubarb ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (if you can’t find fresh rhubarb feel free to use frozen)
To make the vanilla bean ice cream:
In a medium saucepan, heat two cups of half-and-half until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Add the vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
In the meantime, in a heat-proof bowl, whisk together the four egg yolks, slowly adding in the sugar until the mixture thickens and turns a pale yellow.
Temper the eggs by slowly pouring the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring vigorously until well-incorporated. Pour back into the medium sauce pan and heat until a candy thermometer reads 165 degrees F, or the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spatula. Remove from the heat.
Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, removing any small clumps that may have formed. Pour in the last cup of half-and-half, and set aside. Let the mixture cool completely before refrigerating for at least 2 hours or overnight. While the mixture is being chilled, make the strawberry rhubarb crumble.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Butter a 9 inch round glass baking dish.
Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend.
Add butter. Rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats.
Place ¼ cup sugar in large bowl and add vanilla paste, and mix to blend well.
Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well.
Pour the fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.
Place on a baking sheet in case the crumble erupts and bake until filling bubbles and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes.
At this point, the ice cream base should be cold enough for you to churn. Pour the vanilla bean mixture into the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes).
When the ice cream is done, scoop a heaping spoonful of ice cream into a storage container, and break pieces of the crumble into the ice cream. Stir gently and repeat until you have a container full of ice cream and crumble. Return this heavenly treat to the freezer for a few hours to harden, or if you can’t wait, enjoy immediately.
If you’re serving it straight from the freezer, let it sit out for approximately 10 minutes to soften before scooping.
Our friends over at 365 Scoops recently brought to our attention that it is National Ice Cream Month, and this truly couldn’t come at a more appropriate time with temperatures soaring all around the country! While my husband and mother-in-law (two avid ice cream lovers) would argue that of course ice cream is “Jewish,” 365 Scoops has put together a list of the most Jewish ice cream flavors including tzimmes, hummus and even Nova lox flavored ice cream!
But if lox flavored ice cream doesn’t get your mouth watering you might try one of the flavors from Chozen including Rugelach, Matzoh Crunch or Apples and Honey flavored ice cream. You can order the ice cream online though I’ve also found it at my local Whole Foods.
And if you are feeling adventurous you can set out to make your own! I like using this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker which you can also use to make frozen yogurt and sorbet on hot summer days or year-round. One tip: you need to freeze the bowl of the ice cream maker 24 hours ahead of time, so a little planning is necessary when making your own ice cream, at least with this particular ice cream maker. The results are creamy and delicious and its just so gratifying to make it yourself!
There’s a plethora of ice cream recipes out there but my absolute favorite is this Salted Caramel Ice Cream which I like to top off with a drizzle of honey and a scant sprinkling of good sea salt.