Vanilla rhubarb ice cream

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Yesterday Maui and I made ice cream together! I was so excited to make ice cream again. I found out she hadn’t seen Labyrinth (imagine) so we watched that while we waited for the ice cream to finish.

Before you get started: These instructions are written for using a Kitchen Aid ice cream maker. You need to freeze the bowl at least 24 hours in advance, and make the base of the ice cream the day before.

Yields: 16 servings of approx 120 mL (½ cup) per serving

Ingredients:

  • 590 mL Half and Half (2½ cups)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 200 g granulated white sugar (1 cup)
  • 590 mL Heavy Cream 35% (2½ cups)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped
  • 0.5 g salt (⅛ tsp)
  • 200 g chopped rhubarb (2 cups) + 25 g white sugar (2 tbsp)

Instructions:

1. In a sauce pan on Medium, heat the Half and Half until it’s steaming but not boiling. Stir often. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In mixing bowl, whip the yolks and sugar until just combined.

3. Gradually add the heated mix to the sugar, (I used a strainer since a skim developed). Once all the hot mixture has been added and the mixture is combined, return it to the sauce pot.

4. Add the vanilla bean to the pot.

5. Cook on Medium until small bubbles form at the edge and mixture steams, don’t boil it.

6. Transfer to mixing bowl with a spout  (I strained it again), stir in whipping cream and salt. Using a bowl with a spout is the best thing you can do since you’ll be pouring this into a moving mixer later which you cannot stop as you pour.

7. Cover and chill overnight.

8. Half an hour before you’re ready to start the ice cream, turn the rhubarb into jam-like consistency. Put the chopped fruit and the sugar in a sauce pan, heat on Medium for a bit until it starts to break down, then keep on Low until it’s pulpy, stirring often. Once the fruit is broken down, set it aside.

9. Time to churn ice cream! Put the drive assembly in place and set the dasher into the frozen bowl. Turn mixer on to Speed 1 BEFORE you add the cooled mixture. Churn at least 20 minutes until the machine makes a clicking noise.

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Churn it up!

10. Spoon the rhubarb into the ice cream and stir a bit more.

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11. Store in air-tight container and freeze.

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Enjoy!

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Verdict:

Delicious!  I will add an extra cup of rhubarb next time, since I can’t see much pink in the ice cream. I can taste it but I was envisioning striations of fruit through the ice cream which didn’t really happen.

I will also churn the ice cream for longer, I found that the bottom of the bowl was still soupy and hadn’t firmed up.  That fixes itself once you freeze it, but to enjoy it right away I think you do need to churn it longer, or maybe risk stopping the bowl and using a spatula to scrape it up from the bottom?  I don’t know. Last time I stopped the bowl while ice cream making everything immediately froze to the side of the bowl.

Remarkable mango-rhubarb bites

Je suis la hot. It’s been too hot to bake lately.  This is the first dessert I’ve made in weeks, which is a mango-rhubarb number. Technically it was a bar-type dessert, although the consistency wasn’t what I consider to be a bar. It had cobbler-like qualities.

I adapted this from a recipe I found on The Rhubarb Compendium.  I added mango and ditched the icing sugar. It’s possible my results were skewed since I added the egg at the wrong stage.

Time required:  1.5 hrs

Yields: 12 servings

Cost per portion: $2.70

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $32.00

Kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan 9″ x 13″

Ingredients:

  • 4 C rhubarb, washed and diced
  • 3 C mango, peeled and cored and diced
  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 1 C dark brown sugar
  • ½ C white shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 2 C flour
  • ½ TSP vanilla

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F degrees. Grease and flour baking pan.

2. Place rhubarb and mango into a large bowl. Mix in half of the white sugar. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, cream shortening, remaining white sugar, and brown sugar.

4. In a small bowl, combine baking soda, salt, cinnamon and flour. Add to wet mixture.

5. Mix in egg and vanilla.

6. Combine wet mixture with fruit, smoosh batter in baking pan.

7. Bake 40 min. Cool on rack at least one hour.

8. Cut into “squares”. Hmmm. Something doesn’t look quite right. This definitely did not leave the pan in a perfect square.

Verdict: I liked this but Boyfriend did not.

He said the texture was “squishy”. Parts of the bar were crunchy, and parts were soft, and I’m not sure why. The rhubarb was crunchy, which makes sense because it was not stewed yet I wasn’t expecting crunchy fruit in a baked dish. It wasn’t bad, just different. I found the mango flavour a little overwhelming, so next time I’d drop the mango entirely and stew the rhubarb prior to baking. But if I was going to do all of that I’d just make a cobbler instead.

Overall I liked this but it wasn’t my favourite rhubarb dish that I’ve made.

Update July 26, 2011: the next day this dessert turned into mush. I’m not sure if it was caused by the heat wave we’re experiencing, or if this particular mix of ingredients don’t hold up well, but I won’t be making this again.

Playlist: Adele

Rhubarb apple crumb bars

The only thing more sour than rhubarb is a spiteful girlfriend. I baked this to get even with Boyfriend who went out of town for the weekend, alas. Eat your heart out.

Yes I am that petty. I adapted this from the “blueberry crumb bars” in Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

I have a few plans to make this turn out better than the first attempt at a fruit crumb bar, which was a burnt nightmare. I think I can get it right this time.

Good to know before you start: The high butter content will easily burn. To prevent this, cover the entire dessert with tinfoil, bake  30 minutes at a high temperature, then remove tinfoil and bake  an additional 25 min at a lower temperature. This ensure the fruit filling is properly cooked but the topping doesn’t burn.

Time required: 2.5 hrs

Yields: 36 piece

Cost per bar: $1.39

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $41.00

Kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 10.5″ x 14.5″
  • tinfoil
  • KitchenAid mixer
  • pastry blender

Crust ingredients:

  • 1 C butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • ⅔ C icing sugar
  • 1 TSP pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ C flour

Filling ingredients:

  • 4 C rhubarb, washed and diced
  • 4 C tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • ½ C granulated white sugar
  • 3 TBSP powdered corn starch
  • 2 TBSP water

Topping ingredients:

  • ⅔ C quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • ½ C flour
  • ⅓ C brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon, ground
  • ½ C butter, slightly softened  (1 stick)

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 190.5°C / 375°F. Line baking pan with foil.

2. Prepare the fruit and set it aside.

3. Prepare crust: in mixer beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla.

Beat until light and fluffy.

4. Add flour and mix until just combined.

5. Use hands to press dough into baking pan, bake 20 min.

6. Cool on rack 5 min.

7. Meanwhile prepare filling: in a large sauce pan, combine sugar, corn starch, and water.

Add fruit. Bring to a boil over Medium heat, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often.

8. Meanwhile prepare topping: in a medium bowl stir: oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon.

9. Cut in butter with pastry blender, and blend until you have coarse crumbs.

10. Spread fruit mixture evenly over crust.

11. Use hands to sprinkle topping over fruit.

12. Cover with tinfoil and pierce with fork. Bake 30 min.

13. Remove tin foil after 30 min, and lower temperature to 160°C / 320°F. Bake for an additional 25 min.

14. Cool completely in pan before slicing.  When ready to serve, lift from pan, peel foil off the bottom.  Slice lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into 6 pieces.

Verdict: My plan to taunt Boyfriend failed miserably! This was partially assembled when I found out he would be home at 3:30, right when it finished cooling. Foiled!

I decided to be kind and let him have some.

These were delicious. The crust reminded me of shortbread, very buttery and soft.  The rhubarb and apples were nice and tart. The only thing I’d change is to add two more stalks of rhubarb.

I will retry the apple-only version at some point and believe that if I use the tinfoil trick it should be fine.

Playlist: Sailor Moon Super S movie

I am now convinced anything with rhubarb will turn out awesome and make me feel like a baking super star. What rhubarb dessert is your favourite?

Rhubarb cobbler

When I was small, I lived beside an elderly man with a large vegetable garden. It was like having my own Mr. McGregor, and I was the rabbit unable to help myself from raiding his rhubarb.  Mmmm, pilfered produce! I am not sure why I ate so much of it, uncooked rhubarb can be quite sour, and I never did eat an entire stalk…

Tonight I made my first cobbler with the rhubarb I found in the market the other day. But will the fruits of labour be as sweet when the ingredients are purchased instead of purloined?

A cobbler is a layer of stewed fruit, covered by chunks of pastry, which are supposed to resemble a cobbled road after baking. This is a Better Homes & Gardens recipe.

I’m going to give a shout-out to Boyfriend’s mother for providing advice before I started. This whole “break topping / spoon topping” was confusing.

Time required: 1.5 hrs

Yields: 9 portions

Cost per portion: $4.00

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $36.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • flour sifter
  • 2 quart baking dish
  • cookie tray lined with tinfoil (to catch drippings)

Good to know before you start:

1. The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous.

2. The stalks of the rhubarb plant are a natural laxative.

Topping ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • 2 TBSP granulated white sugar
  • ½ TSP baking powder
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¼ C unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ C milk

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 C granulated white sugar
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 4 C diced rhubarb stalks (about 6 stalks)

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 204°C / 400°F.

2. Wash rhubarb stalks and slice into one-inch pieces. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl sift together: 1 C flour, 2 TBSP sugar, baking powder, and salt.

4. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.

5. Slightly beat an egg and combine with milk.

6. Mix egg into crumbs until moistened. Set aside.

7. In a large pot, stir together: combine sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, water, and butter.

8. Add rhubarb, stirring until all pieces are coated.

9. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Let mixture bubble, stirring occasionally.

10. Pour hot fruit mixture into baking dish. The dish has been placed onto a foil-lined baking tray to catch any overflow.

11. Immediately spoon topping onto rhubarb. (Try to make small mounds of pastry, I ended up with a… decorative spiral.)

12. Bake 20 min.

13. After baking, cool on wire rack at least 20 min. Scoop and serve.

Verdict: Delicious! This is the first time I’ve cooked with rhubarb, but it won’t be the last.

I used a 1.5 quart baking dish instead of a 2 quart one, mostly because I am short and lazy and couldn’t reach the bigger dish. However, I’m glad I used that size, because I found there was not enough fruit. I would use 6-8 cups next time, maybe 10 stalks?

I was really happy with how this turned out.

You can make cobbler with lots of different fruits, what would you choose?

Playlist: Wizardry V soundtrack