So step two in the not so snappily titled “Experimenting With My Ice Cream Maker Summer Project” took place this weekend (see here for step one). I played it pretty safe with a well trodden (i.e. classic Delia) ‘novelty’ flavour (i.e. rhubarb crumble) but did throw in a few things (i.e. stem ginger) to try and make it a bit more interesting than what’s already floating around the t’interweb (er, i.e. Delia). [No more i.e's, i.promis-e.]
Unlike Delia, I used a traditional custard base (because rhubarb should go be served with custard, not cream) and I added the syrup of the stem ginger to both the custard and the stewing rhubarb instead of sugar to try and infuse a subtle, but not aggressive, ginger taste throughout the ice cream. There was also a little bit of stem ginger in the stewed fruit and then a number of little cubes were chucked in during the last stages of the churning process. Tiny nuggets of flavour and texture amongst other micro chunks of crumble, which themselves basically act as a grown up version of cookie dough.
It was very tasty and I’m happy to mark step two as another success (though admittedly I think anything with rhubarb in is awesome). I ate my first scoop on top of a poncey rhubarb crumble that I’d fashioned because I was bored and because I had some left over bits of stewed rhubarb and baked crumble. But the ice cream works perfectly well on top of some warm stewed fruit, or even on its own. Indeed, because of all the little bits and bobs in it, you wouldn’t feel like you were short changing guests by serving them only this at the end of a meal.
If you think this is all a bit of an effort for a couple of scoops of ice cream, I’m thinking you could probably replace the home made custard for 500ml tub of quality shop bought stuff. Cheating, yes, and probably not quite as nice or satisfying … but also undoubtedly quicker and cheaper. I might give that a go in step 3 of the Project and will get back to you.
In the meantime, the recipe for this one is below the pics.
Rhubarb and ginger crumble ice cream
Makes 1 litre
(Makes about a litre)250ml double cream 250ml semi skimmed milk 30g caster sugar 4 medium egg yolks 30ml stem ginger syrup 600g rhubarb 30ml stem ginger syrup 1 level tablespoon caster sugar 2 tablespoons water 75g plain white flour 50g butter 50g light brown sugar 3-4 stem pieces of stem ginger diced into little (about 1.5mm) cubes
First of all make your crumble and also stew your rhubarb – these need to be cool when added to the churned ice cream.
Pre heat the oven to 200C.
Rub the flour, cubes of cold butter and sugar together with your finger tips to make little nuggets of crumble. Bake for 10-15 minute until golden and leave to cool.
Wash and cut the rhubarb into 1-2 cm long lengths, put into a ceramic or pyrex baking dish (not a metal tray – the rhubarb will take on a tinny flavour) with the other 30ml of ginger syrup, 1 of the pieces of stem ginger (diced), 1 tablespoon of sugar and a dash of water and stew for 20 minutes or so – so the fruit is soft. Taste it – I think it wants to be on the tart end of the pleasant scale because there’s so sugar in the custard and crumble too. Blitz into a puree and leave to cool (you could put both the puree and the crumble in the freezer to cool (but not freeze) for the 30 minutes or so you’re making custard and churning it.
Grab 2 heavy bottomed saucepans. Put the milk and cream in the smaller one of them and bring it slowly to the boil, taking it off the heat when it gets to boiling point. You could add the seeds of a vanilla pod whilst heating the milk, but you might also think that’s an unnecessary expense on top of everything else.
In the other saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and 30ml of syrup until light. Test the milk/cream with your finger. Pour the now warm (so a few minutes after it’s come of the heat) over the yolks, whisking all the time. Put that saucepan on a low heat, stirring until the custard thickens and covers the back of a wooden spoon. Pour into a bowl or jug, cover with cling film and leave to cool. When cool plop into your ice cream maker, and then follow the instructions for turning custard into ice cream.
When the ice cream is voluminous and almost ready to be decanted, pour 2/3 of the rhubarb puree, the remainder of the ginger and the 3/4 of the crumble into the mix and let it churn for a few minutes more. Then scrape out into a pot/tub, layering occasionally with the remaining rhubarb and crumble. Once the pot is full, give it a quick stir with a chopstick, kebab stick or something similar to marble those layers of puree and crumble and freeze for a few hours before devouring.
[If you like this post, and the blog more generally, maybe you'd consider voting for me in the Observer Food Monthly awards? There are some prizes in it for you too. Just a thought.]