Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato

Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato

In case you haven’t heard, it’s rhubarb season. And although we haven’t quite got the the “planting a garden” stage of our major landscaping overhaul we do have a little patch of rhubarb that never fails to give us at least a little homegrown goodness. My seven year old has been eager to get out and pick some to cook up so yesterday we did just that. The only dilemma was – what to make with it? We aren’t huge pie eater in our house. I thought about doing a crisp but ran out of oats in the pantry. So, why not ice cream? I had a nice carton of strawberries in the fridge and pie or not rhubarb and strawberry is just a winning combination. Ice cream it was. Or maybe sorbet? I couldn’t decide. So, instead I met them in the middle and decided on gelato.  So I’m sure, being the foodie that you are, that you know the difference between gelato and American style ice cream. Gelato, generally made with whole milk instead of cream (or mostly milk with a little cream) has less fat. It also is churned at a slower speed so it contains less air. Of course most middle of the road home ice cream machines don’t churn at speeds anywhere near what is used to make commercial ice cream so they are perfect for gelato. And the other thing that sets gelato apart is that it is generally served at a slightly warmer temperature so it’s not as hard as ice cream.

Although I’ve made gelato before I have been wanting to try a Sicilian gelato for a while and this seemed like a great time to give it a try. So, what’s different about Sicilian gelato? Instead of using egg yolks as a stabilizer it uses starch (generally corn but other starches will work). It still gives you a nice creamy texture and the starch is good a keeping ice crystals from forming. It’s also a little easier than faster because you don’t have to temper your eggs and strain your custard. And it’s perfect for anyone with an egg allergy.  And the verdict? Awesome.  This method is definitely a keeper and I can’t wait to experiment with more flavours.

Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato
Author: 
 
Egg free with no compromise on texture and taste, this Sicilian style Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato is a hit.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups of sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • ⅔ cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine the first four ingredients (rhubarb, strawberries, water and sugar) in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Cook until the rhubarb is tender - about 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. If you like chunks of fruit in your gelato just use a spoon to mush the fruit a bit. If you prefer a smooth texture use a small food process or immersion blender to make it smooth.
  5. Place the fruit mixture in the fridge to cool.
  6. Pour 1 cup of the milk in a bowl and add the corn starch. Whisk until the starch is dissolved and the mixture has no lumps. Set aside.
  7. Pour the rest of the milk and the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is steaming. Do not boil!
  9. Slowly, while stirring, add the milk and corn starch mixture to the post.
  10. Add the vanilla.
  11. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Place in a container and put in the fridge to cool completely.
  14. If you want to speed the cooling process up pour the mixture into a bowl and place inside another bowl of ice water (heavy on the ice). Stir occasionally to speed up the cooling and to prevent a film from forming on the top.
  15. Once your mixture is cool stir in the strawberry, rhubarb mixture and then follow the directions on your ice cream machine to finish.
  16. Scoop into a freezer safe container with an air tight lid.

strawberry rhubarb gelato

 

strawberry rhubarb gelato

 

This article has 1 comment

  1. I missed rhubarb season this year but not next year. We’re moving across the province and rhubarb is a staple where we’re going. I was never much a fan because I don’t like pie but I love gelato!

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