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Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Ice Cream

The fact that Strawberry and Rhubarb season overlap is almost enough to make us go to church. Kind of like how flour and water alone turn into sourdough bread, or milk plus mold will someday equal cheese; only a higher power could allow such a perfect pair to come together for our gastronomic pleasure.

If dessert were a double act, Rhubarb would be Desi to Strawberry’s Lucy, Keenan to its Kel, Harold to its Kumar, Anne Perkins to its Leslie Knope. Rhubarb, while lovable, isn’t the tastiest or most memorable part of the dish. Instead it is the acerbic foil Strawberries need to taste their best, be their sweetest, and become basically everyone’s favorite fruit.

Rhubarb is full of oxalic acid, which is poisonous in large doses but incredibly useful in smaller. It gives an astringently mouth puckering tang to lots of our favorite produce— but it’s less of a flavor and more of a sensation. What it’s really good for is balancing the hell out of stuff that super sugary. The juicy, candy sweetness of fresh strawberries turns mellow and grown-up in the presence of rhubarb, while the near bland rhubarb gets wrapped up in the strawberries’ intensely floral perfume.

While these botanical soulmates are most often found in pies, we think that they are better matched in ice cream. The dairy rounds out sharpness of the rhubarb and showcases the more complex fat-soluble flavor compounds in the berries.

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Ice Cream

adapted from Jenni’s Ice Cream

  • 1 pint Strawberry; washed, hulled, and quartered
  • ⅔ cup Rhubarb, about 2 big stalks, cut into ¼ in chunks
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • ⅛ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract, or 1 Bean, scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • ¼ cup Buttermilk
  • 1 ¼ cups Heavy Cream
  • 3 tbsp Cream Cheese, nice and soft

Serves: 4-6 with about 1 qt of Ice Cream

Preheat your oven to 400°. Toss the Strawberries and Rhubarb together with the Balsamic Vinegar in a 13” x 9”  dish and roast until soft, about 15 minutes.

Puree about 2/3 of the Fruit and all of the delicious nectar it leaves behind. Reserve the whole Fruit chunks to fold in later.

Transfer the Pureed Fruit to a medium saucepan, add the Salt, Sugar and Vanilla, and cook over very low heat until reduced and syrupy. About 10 minutes.

While your Pureed Fruit cooks down, combine the Milk, Buttermilk, Heavy Cream, and Cream Cheese. Don’t let a few stray lumps of Cream Cheese stress you out, this business is going to be stirring for like at least a half an hour and they will work themselves out.

Carefully pour your Pureed Fruit to the Dairy goodness, and pour that into your ice cream maker.  We don’t know how your ice cream maker works so follow your manufacturer’s instructions for the rest, k?

Fold in the whole Fruit Chunks carefully during the last 5 minutes of stirring. If you’re into a soft serve texture— or you’re just impatient— serve immediately, but if you’re a human capable of waiting two hours and you want something that will hold its own shape, transfer your mixture to a air tight container and freeze.  Eat with tiny spoons because it has been scientifically proven by our mouths that ice cream tastes better that way.


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    Oh, okay fine. It’s not the season. But it’s kind of violently-good-looking. Halloweeny? It’s festive and bright red....
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