Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rhubarb and ginger ice cream

Oh, would this rain just stop. I've had enough. I'd had enough last Summer. June is supposed to be all sunny and lovely. Not damp and grotty. I hate not knowing what to wear. It is warm but it is wet. Add to this the fact that I have a two hour commute to work and you'll understand that I am frequently ridiculously and inappropriately clothed. When I leave London at 7am it can be a bright and sunny day, yet when I arrive at Stevenage station it is frequently wet and cold. I get some funny looks in my summery dress and strappy sandals.

Last week in fit of Summer excitement, I decided to get out the ice cream maker. I was lucky enough to receive one last August for my birthday. Summer (or what there was of it) was coming to an end and I only got to try it out a few times. I'm not really a winter ice cream person, you see.

So, I was excited to give it a burst last week. Those of you who read my
previous post will not be surprised to hear that when entertaining I am not content to produce just one rather lovely pudding but feel the need to provide two. Just in case someone doesn't like the first offering. I couldn't bear for them to go without. Of course, usually, everyone wants a little of both. So much the better in my book.

I am more than a little obsessed with rhubarb. Really, I prefer the earliest forced rhubarb. A streak of pink during an otherwise bland winter season. But I'm prepared to give the later variety a whirl too. As long as it still has a bit of pink about it. Rhubarb (or rude-barb as I often feel the urge to call it) is just wonderful with ginger. I augmented my ice cream with syrup from a jar of stem ginger and added bashed up ginger nuts for added interest. The experiment was (modesty aside) a successful one.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can still make the stuff. You just have to have a little patience and keep whisking the stuff whilst it is freezing. For more tips, see
this advice from the master of ice-cream, David Lebovitz.

Rhubarb and ginger ice cream
Serves 6

Ingredients -

500g rhubarb (weight prior to trimming and chopping)
7 oz golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
15 fluid oz (425 ml) whipping cream
1 - 2 tbsp syrup from jar of stem ginger in syrup
8 ginger nuts ( or thereabouts!)

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Trim rhubarb (be sure to get rid of any poisonous leaves). Cut into 2 cm pieces and put into roasting tin. Sprinkle over sugar and lemon juice and give a good shake to coat. Pop into the oven to roast for 30 minutes.

N.B. It will seem like an awful lot of sugar, but remember that rhubarb is very tart. If you want, add less and taste later - you can always add a little more. Once you remove it from the oven, it should be tender and sitting in lots of lovely juice...

2. Pop the rhubarb in a blender and blitz, or use a stab mixer to blend to a fine pureé. Stir in the ginger syrup, cover with clingfilm and then chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.

3. Bash the ginger nuts into smallish pieces. Not so small that you have crumbs - you want the bits to be noticeable in the ice-cream. About the size of a pea is perfect. Easiest way to do this - pop in a plastic freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin.

4. When rhubarb mixture is cool, stir the cream in thoroughly and pour into the prepared ice-cream maker. Churn until you have a spoonable consistency (around 20 minutes) and then scrape into a container. Stir in the bits of ginger nut at this stage. Pop in the freezer until ready to serve.

Delicious with strawberries and crisp little biscuits. Or why not make a lovely strawberry purée to drizzle over the top. Delicious!

Other fruity ice creams I've made over the past year...

Damson ice-cream

Blackberry ice-cream

Orange ice-cream

Raspberry ripple ice-cream terrine


Jackie said...

Fascinating combination for ice cream!

Sylvie said...

What a wonderful sounding ice cream. One more reason to buy an ice ream maker, because I'm not a very patient person!

Maria said...

Antonia I know exactly what you mean, last summer was a complete wash out!! It looks like we finally have some nice weather today, hope it lasts.

Your ice cream look delish! I'm getting my ice cream maker out of hiding and ready for summer ;o)


Trekkie said...

I've done rhubarb and ginger jam, but never rhubarb and ginger ice cream. Time to get my ice cream maker out as well, methinks.

nicisme said...

Another great combo for ice cream!

Hippolyra said...

This sounds lovely.

I love they way that you are refusing to give in to the weather my first June post was unseasonally about soup!

I sympathise about the what to wear problem, I never know to wear, and have you noticed we always have a cold snap as soon as you get the summerweight duvet out?

Antonia said...

Hello Jackie - thank you for stopping by.

I'm the same, Sylvie - I never made ice cream before I got the machine.

Maria - some sunshine today too - yipee. Am hoping it will last for the weekend too. Look forward to reading about your ice cream making over the summer.

Lynn - similarly, I look forward to seeing what you create.

Nic - I was really pleased with this combination. Best ice cream I've made so far, I think.

Hippolyra - Yes - I'm soldiering on with the summery food, though the night before last some warming soup would have been much more welcome!

Wendy said...

Oh, yum. I've got a real craving for ice cream just now and rhubarb and ginger is such a great combo.

Cakespy said...

I think I just died and went to heaven--what a combination of flavors!!

Bellini Valli said...

Another over the top way to serve up rhubarb. I had better get cracking the season is almost over:D

Julia said...

I know Antonia - where's the sunshine? *sob*

This ice cream sounds gorgeous, what a fab combination.

Antonia said...

Wendy - I love the rhubarb and ginger combination and it worked well in ice cream form. I'll be making this again, I think.

Cakespy - I finished the last of this today and was quite upset. It was quite a winning formula! Thanks for visiting.

Julia - we had sunshine today - hope that you did too. I got a bit over-enthusiastic and am a little pink!

Rosie said...

Oh yes Antonia rhubarb & ginger ice cream just great combos of flavours going on here!!

The weather is hit and miss. I do hope we are in for a sunny summer this year!!

My ice cream maker is out of hiding now ready to do its work again :)

Rosie x