Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rhubarb is Here!

This is the first Rhubarb of the season, or at least the first I have seen.  Rhubarb is one of my favorite things, it makes brilliant and easy crumble, wonderful pickles, relishes and chutneys and later in the season paired with strawberries a classic pie.

A lot of recipes I come across mix orange juice with rhubarb, indeed it's a delicious pairing, but one that sort of bothers me, here is this quintessential North East local product why mix it with probably not in season flown in from who knows where oranges?   

So my own misgivings aside, it did occur to me that a Blood Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream would be a great pairing with Rhubarb crumble. Yes this has been my year of blood orange obsession, so I am just leaning into it and going with it, of course plain old oranges would work just as well.

After making this recipe I re thought it considerably so check out the update version here.

 Blood Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream

Wash 4 blood oranges, organic if you can find them, using a vegetable peeling cut strips of peel from just 1 of the oranges, trying as best as you can to not get any white pith.  Finely grate the peel of the the other three oranges into a bowl and reserve for later use. Juice all 4 oranges and add the juice (you want, more or less, 3/4 cup of juice) into the grated orange peel.
Place the orange peel into a sauce pan with 1 cup of sugar, 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream and 3/4 cup of half and half over medium heat bring to just before it starts to break into a boil then quickly take off the heat.  Let this mixture sit for about 20 minutes to infuse.

Meanwhile separate 6 large organic eggs, reserving the whites for other use (Angel food cake!) place into a large bowl and whisk vigorously.  

Strain the orange peel out of the cream mixture then reheat the cream mixture and slowly, 1/4 cup at a time whisk into the egg yolks, when all the warm liquid has been added to the egg yolks pour back into the sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 165F on a thermometer or if you don't have one coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from the heat.

If the mixture has curdled at all during this process pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Add the grated peel and juice slowly to the cream mixture.  Add 1 Tablespoon of good quality vodka (Crops Organic is my favorite) or you can use Vanilla Extract.

Chill in the fridge until cold then process in your ice cream maker according to instructions.

Scoop generously over warm Rhubarb crumble!


chris & Skip in AVL said...

we've been eating a lot of rhubarb this spring. our plant gives up a few stalks but our friend's plant is 5 feet tall! Hers has green stems which I had never experienced before. I recommend tracking green stem down, I think it's best. Slices hold shape when cooked and are more... well, green flavored—more vegetal and full flavored.

Urban Food Guy said...

Funny all the Rhubarb I have gotten so far has been very red, then yesterday at the Sunday Market in the East Village I saw a bunch of very green stalks so on your advice bought them up! What are you making with them? I'm thinking about making pickles with this batch...

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