Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream (#61)

8 09 2013

My mother in law stopped by yesterday and brought along a huge bag of goodies from her garden: beautiful heirloom tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, amazingly fragrant basil, green beans, and rhubarb.   Rhubarb typically peaks in the spring, but I guess when you have your own garden, anything goes… or grows!

I suppose I could have gotten creative with the tomatoes or the basil (green bean ice cream would have been pushing it), but I thought a rhubarb ice cream recipe would be safest.  I have already developed recipes for Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream, Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream, and most recently Rhubarb Orange Star Anise Frozen Yogurt.  What next?

I scanned the kitchen and zeroed in on a canister of old fashioned rolled oats I had on the counter.  With autumn just around the corner, a Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream was in order.

I love rhubarb crumble, and I love it even more when it’s topped with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Trouble is, the warm fruit usually melts the ice cream.  Unless you inhale your dessert, you end up with a bowl of soupy, fruity cream!  Solution?  An ice cream recipe that captures the sweet-tangy taste of cooked rhubarb and the satisfying crunch of a buttery crumble topping.  Enjoy.

Cook down rhubarb, orange zest, OJ, and sugar...

Rhubarb, orange zest, sugar, and orange juice…

rhubarb orange compote

… cooked into a luscious compote.

crumble topping

A quick crumble topping made of oats, flour, butter, and brown sugar.

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Rhubarb Orange Compote (makes 1 cup):

2.5 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup of sugar
Juice and zest of one orange

Crumble Topping

1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Pinch of salt

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Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt (#59-Y)

11 06 2013

There are a lot of people out there who don’t like yogurt.  For many, it’s the characteristic tang of yogurt that’s the deal breaker.  The solution?  Chocolate.  And lots of it.

This frozen yogurt recipe calls for a whopping 3/4 cup of Dutch cocoa powder — the same amount as in my recipe for Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream, which I made waaaay back in Week #5.  I assure you that the deep, chocolatey taste of cocoa powder will mask any hint of tang in the yogurt.  Even if you have the most discerning palette, hyper-sensitive sour taste buds, and can pick out even the slightest whisper of tang in your food, you will likely attribute that taste to the sweet-tart macerated raspberries that are churned throughout the frozen yogurt.

Rather than using 2% plain Greek yogurt (Oikos brand – 130 calories, 3.5 g fat, 17 g protein per 1/2 cup) as I did with my last two frozen yogurt recipes, I gave 3% plain regular yogurt (Astro brand – 80 calories, 4 g fat, 5 g protein per 1/2 cup) a try this week to see if there’d be any difference in using a thinner yogurt, albeit one with a slightly higher fat content.

Astro 3% plain yogurt

3% plain regular yogurt has fewer calories and is cheaper than 2% plain Greek yogurt, but doesn’t compromise on taste and texture in frozen yogurt recipes.

Results?  Taste: AWESOME.  Texture: AWESOME.  Granted, I ought to test this recipe using both 2% Greek yogurt and 3% regular yogurt and do a side-by-side comparison, but based on this recipe alone, I’m convinced I could use either variety in my frozen yogurt recipes and have fantastic results.  Bonus: regular yogurt is usually cheaper than Greek yogurt!

(Readers: please let me know if you try this recipe using fat-free, 1%, or full-fat varieties of yogurt.  I’d be very interested in hearing about your results!)

Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt  (Makes about 1 L)

For the Chocolate Frozen Yogurt:

3/4 c Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup white sugar
3 cups of plain yogurt

For the Macerated Raspberries:

1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon vodka

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Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Syrup (#58-Y)

20 05 2013

The Victoria Day Long Weekend calls for an impromptu dinner party, and an impromptu dinner party calls for quick, simple dishes:

French bread, tapenade, olives, bruschetta

Olives, bruschetta, tapenade, and crusty French bread.  (Pick up from the deli and ask the bakery to slice the bread for you.)

fennel orange salad


Fennel and orange salad with lemon olive oil dressing.  (Pre-washed spring mix is such a time saver!)

Linguine with clams, pasta with clams


Bucatini with Clams (An easy and impressive main with just 12 minutes of cooking time!)

And to finish, Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt.  But I’ll save that photo for the end of this post, along with the Official Taster’s comments 🙂

If you haven’t had strawberries with balsamic vinegar before, you must.  They are a classic and wonderfully complementary pairing, with the depth and tang of balsamic vinegar bringing out the sweetness of the strawberries.  Absolutely divine!

The recipe itself is deceptively simple: whirl together four ingredients, chill, and churn.  It’s fantastic served on its own, but dress it up with a drizzle of homemade balsamic syrup for that additional WOW factor.

Store any leftover syrup in a jar in the fridge — it will keep indefinitely.  The syrup will be very thick when it’s cold, so warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave before using it.  Try it drizzled over asparagus or a tomato bocconcini salad.

Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Syrup  (Makes about 1.25 L)

For the frozen yogurt:

1 lb strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 cups of 2% plain Greek yogurt

For the balsamic syrup:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

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Rhubarb Orange Star Anise Frozen Yogurt (#57-Y)

6 05 2013

I was rummaging through the freezer the other day and realized I still have lots of frozen fruit from last year.  With fresh, seasonal produce soon to be in great abundance, I figured it’s time to use up last year’s frozen goodies.  A bag of chopped rhubarb was among my collection.  Perfect.  I’ve had rhubarb, orange, and star anise compote on my mind for the past few weeks now!

For those who are unfamiliar, star anise is a spice that is commonly used in Asian cooking.  These beautiful little stars come from the pod of an evergreen magnolia tree and have an anise or licorice flavour.  Star anise pairs wonderfully with citrus and adds intrigue to rhubarb.

star anise

Beautiful, sweet smelling star anise

Rather than making a compote and churning it into a standard custard as I’ve done in the past, I decided to use 3 cups of yogurt as my base this time.  That’s right, I’m shaking things up and adding frozen yogurt to the 52 Scoops repertoire!

If you’ve been hesitant about making ice cream because of the higher fat content, you now have a healthier, lower fat alternative that is still be incredibly delectable, rich, and creamy!  I’ll be using 2% Greek yogurt for all my frozen yogurt recipes, but feel free to experiment with 1% or fat-free varieties.

Results?  Delicious!  The rhubarb, orange, and yogurt all have a mild tang, while the star anise adds just a hint of sweet licorice.  A marvelous first attempt at making frozen yogurt.

Because of the lower fat content, the frozen yogurt will become very hard overnight.  Enjoy it as soon as it is churned or after a quick chill in the freezer.  Two hours for me was perfect.

Rhubarb Orange Star Anise Frozen Yogurt  (Makes about 1 L)

2.5 cups of chopped rhubarb
1 cup white sugar
2 star anise
Juice and finely chopped zest of one medium orange
3 cups of Greek yogurt

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Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream (#16)

27 06 2012

When I posted my recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Ice Cream a few weeks ago, I had every intention of posting a sister recipe — Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream — the week following.  But alas, sweet local strawberries were no where in sight.  Vancouver’s wet, grey, and ch-chilly June weather meant a delay in the ripening of local strawberries.  While you can buy fresh strawberries at the grocery store at almost any time of the year now, those giant red berries coming out of California have spongy interiors and don’t seem to have much taste.  (Find out why in this NPR article.)  Local strawberries, on the other hand, while smaller in size, are darling little red gems bursting with flavour and sweetness.  And finally, THEY ARE READY!!!

strawberries

Hooray, local strawberries are FINALLY in season!

The last time I checked, U-pick strawberries out in Richmond or the Fraser Valley are about $1.50 / lb, harvested berries at the farm gate around $2.00 to $2.50 / lb, and berries at the local farmers market or produce shops around $4.00 to $5.00 / lb.  It is definitely worth spending a couple hours in the U-pick fields or spending a few extra dollars for local berries – they will not disappoint!

This recipe employs the same method as Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream: cooking a fruit compote, then swirling it into a plain ice cream.  You can, optionally, puree and strain the compote and then mix it into the custard prior to churning, but I prefer having larger pieces of fruit mixed into the ice cream.  Yum, a true taste of summer, at last!!

strawberry rhubarb compote

Strawberry rhubarb compote.  Make extra to use as a topping for toast, waffles, pancakes, or yogurt

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

Ice Cream

2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
3 cups half-and-half cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (makes about 1.5 cups)

2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp water
1 c hulled and quartered strawberries

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Fresh Mint and Spring Peas Ice Cream (#14)

13 06 2012

Earlier this week, my co-worker Andrew brought me a bunch of fresh mint from his community garden in East Vancouver.

garden fresh mint

Garden fresh mint

Seeing that I had already used mint (albeit in extract form) in a classic ice cream recipe just a couple of weeks ago (Cacao Nibs and Mint Ice Cream #12), an unusual ice cream recipe was once again in order.  Mint and peas can be whirled into a wonderful soup… so, why not in ice cream?

You can buy fresh mint at most produce and grocery stores, but use garden fresh mint for this recipe if you can.  Inhale deeply and it smells so amazingly cooling.  Mint also grows like a weed.  If you don’t already have some in your backyard, chances are, your neighbour does and will gladly invite you over to harvest a bunch.  Fresh shelling peas tend to be a bit harder to come by, unless you hit up your local farmers market at the right time.  If you can’t find any, frozen peas will do just fine.  Frozen vegetables are picked at their peak of ripeness and then immediately flash frozen — they can be more delicious and nutritious than “fresh” veggies that have been sitting around for weeks.

peas

Fresh peas at the Saturday Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon. Sadly, I wasn’t able to bring any back with me to Vancouver.  A trusty bag of Green Giant peas worked just fine for this recipe.

The resultant ice cream is a gorgeous bright green colour that screams Hello, Spring!  Still raising an eyebrow at this flavour?  Don’t.  I assure you it’s a wonderful combination on the palette.  Subtle flavours, refreshing, and with an ever so slightly grainy texture, somewhat reminiscent of Matcha Ice Cream #7.  Try it out for yourself!

Fresh Mint and Spring Peas Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

3 cups of peas (enough to yield 2 cups of puree)
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 cups half-and-half cream, divided

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Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream (#13)

8 06 2012

Week #13!  This means I’m 25% through my year of ice cream making.  So far, I’m having loads of fun time developing new recipes and churning out batch after batch of delectable home made ice cream.

I really like using fresh, local ingredients, so I recently put out a call to my co-workers: If you grow interesting things in your backyard and want to bring me some freshly harvested goodies, I can probably transform it into ice cream for you.  And the next day, I came to work and found a bunch of rhubarb on my desk.  (Thanks Hildie!)

bunch of fresh rhubarb

Freshly picked rhubarb

Rhubarb is a fascinating vegetable.  It looks like pink celery and has an absolutely puckering bite if you try to eat it raw.  I thought this bunch of rhubarb ought to be cooked into a luscious compote loaded with ginger, then swirled into an ice cream custard.  Don’t be scared by the amount of ginger called for in the compote.  When mixed into the ice cream, there’s a wonderful balance of sweet and heat.  If you have a lot of rhubarb on hand, double the compote recipe and save some for topping yogurt, waffles, pancakes, or toast.

Jar of rhubarb ginger compote

Rhubarb ginger compote

Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Rhubarb Ginger Compote (makes 1 cup):

2.5 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp water

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