Rhubarb Vanilla Ice Cream: You Scream, I Scream…{22}

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Rhubarb-a-Palooza Continues…fresh rhubarb sugared and ready for roasting

With current Seattle temperatures visiting degrees reserved for ice fishing and mukluk wearing, should I really be making ice cream? Heck, yes; I scream for ice cream no matter what the forecast. I continue my rhubarb love fest with a recipe for roasted rhubarb vanilla ice cream. It’s surprisingly subtle and not surprisingly, delicious.

rhubarb roasted and sugared

The original recipe gave me a headache, requiring a suite of ingredients that no mere  mortal should ever possess at any given time (unless enjoying the surname Pepin or Batali). Should acquiring ingredients for a recipe really resemble the to-do list for Hercules? I went back to my basic ice cream custard recipe and gussied it up with roasted rhubarb.

chopped rhubarb ready to make ice cream

Basically, the ice cream is made from a vanilla custard base with roasted, pureed rhubarb added.

roasted rhubard and vanilla ice cream custard about to be mixed

And may I add, if you don’t want to make ice cream, you can still eat the cooled version as a creamy custard. While it isn’t particularly pretty, it’s still amazingly tasty.

cooked vanilla and rhubarb ice cream custard

After about ten minutes in the ice cream machine, the custard begins to thicken nicely.

churning rhubarb vanilla ice cream

This is the consistency you should be looking for. Keep a spoon handy as quality control is an important part of the recipe. (Um-mm, too soft and creamy… Uh, almost there…Patience, just a few more minutes…oh yeah, perfection at last.) How can you tell when it’s done? Easy, you’ll make sure with three more spoonfuls.

delicious homemade vanilla and roasted rhubarb ice cream

Roasted Rhubarb Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe (truly sweet and simple)


  • 1 pound of rhubarb
  • 3 cups half & half
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (from any locale)
  • 4 eggs


  1. Roast rhubarb
    1. Clean rhubarb (see photo 1)
    2. Slice the middle lengthwise
    3. Dust on both sides with sugar (see photo 2)
    4. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet
    5. Cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees
    6. Let cool, and chop into a lovely red mush (see photo 3)
    7. Set aside
  2. Part 1: Ice cream custard – half & half
    1. In double boiler, add half & half
    1. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds, add bean and seeds to half & half
    2. Stir often
    3. Heat just until bubbles form on the side of the pan
    4. Remove from heat, let it cool for about 10 minutes
  3. Part 2: Ice cream custard – eggs & sugar
    1. In separate bowl, add 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
    2. Add 3/4 cup sugar and mix until creamy
  4. Part 3: Cooking ice cream custard
    1. Add one half cup of the warm half & half mixture to the egg mixture, continuously stirring
    2. Add remainder of half & half, one half cup at a time, while stirring
    3.  (Too hot and you’ll get sweetened scrambled eggs)
    4. Return mixture to double boiler and heat
    5. Keep stirring
    6. Heat slowly until thickens and mixture coats the spatula ( see photo 4)
    7. Remove from heat and stir in rhubarb mush, puree
  5. Part 4: Chill mixture
    1. Refrigerate mixture until completely cool (see photo 5)
  6. Part 5: Make ice cream
    1. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and turn on (or get crankin’ if you’re going old scho0l)
    2. It’s ready when thick enough for a spoon to stand
    3. It won’t be hard like store-bought ice cream
    4. Eat immediately or place in covered container in the freezer until served

There you have it. Roasting tones down the rhubarb and vanilla enhances the custard. And hopefully the next time I make ice cream, my apron won’t be made of polar fleece. Happy eating! –TC

Tom | Tall Clover Farm on Foodista

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