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!!!
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!!
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
For the Ice Cream:
- In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
- Add the honey and 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
- Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
- Chill overnight in the fridge.
For the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
- While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the strawberry rhubarb compote. Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water into a non-reactive saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb softens and breaks down. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the strawberries. The residual heat will cook the strawberries.
- Cool and chill overnight in the fridge.
- Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- In the final moments of churning, add the strawberry rhubarb compote and churn to distribute throughout the ice cream.