The internet and I, we’re best buds. Whenever I’m in need of cute cat videos, or can’t remember who that one guy from that one movie was, or want to keep in touch with far away friends… the internet is there for me.
But there are some things the internet just cannot do. This past week, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time not sitting at my computer (strange, I know), and actually interacting with the world instead.
I’m here to report: it’s pretty fantastic out there, beyond the internet.
I’ve had company over twice in one week. I’ve hung out with friends in real life (not facebook) and even made new friends. In person, face-to-face, flesh and bone. I feel like I should start writing snail mail in lieu of emails from now on. I’ve even been working on a project for a print magazine. Like, made out of paper and everything. Crazy!
Err… people still read those, right?
Also, I made this ice cream, because it turns out it’s getting awfully warm out there. Making ice cream is definitely something the internets cannot do, and it might just be one of its biggest shortcomings. You hear me, Google? You should really work on that. (Actually, don’t, because you’ll put me out of business. Also, it sounds like that technology isn’t too far off (see here) and I’m sure Google has it’s hands in it somehow.)
While we wait for a future in which the internet can produce outstanding ice cream at the click of a button (or sit in fear of the day no one cooks anymore), I urge you to leave the glow of the computer screen for just a moment — just long enough to make a batch of this ice cream.
Cool, creamy perfection awaits you.
Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Ice Cream with Crunchy Almond Crumble Topping. It’s a mouthful, I know — too much to fit into the title of a blog post — but oh, what a mouthful it is. It’s the kind of mouthful you want to have, over and over again.
I’ve always thought that crumbles and cobblers are best served with big scoops of vanilla ice cream, but this is like the perfect combination of both. It has just the right balance of sweet and tart, with plenty of creamy and crunchy thrown in for good measure. All the goodness of strawberry rhubarb crumble, in ice cream form.
This recipe does involve a little roasting, but I promise you it is worth turning your oven on for. The crumble topping alone is enough to make it worth the effort. Just be sure to keep it out of arms reach, or it will disappear considerably faster than you intend it to.
Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream with Crunchy Almond Crumble Topping
Makes a little over 1 pint — loosely adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home
For the ice cream:
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
5oz. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-1 inch chunks (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/3rd cup granulated sugar
2 TBSP dark brown sugar
2 TBSP fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 an orange)
1 TBSP aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest (about 1/2 an orange)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
4 TBSP cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the Crunchy Almond Topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of salt
8 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 tsp. almond extract
For the ice cream:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, toss to combine the strawberries, rhubarb, 1/3 cup sugar, brown sugar, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and orange zest. Roast for 12-15 minutes, or until the berries have released their juices and the rhubarb is soft.
2. Let cool, then mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth, with just a few chunks of fruit remaining. Or, if you prefer your ice cream chunk free, puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. (Strawberry rhubarb mixture can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.)
3. To a saucepan, add the milk, cream, buttermilk, and a pinch of salt. Place over medium heat, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until hot. You want the milk to be steaming, but not boiling. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, cream cheese, and 2/3 cup of sugar until pale and smooth. Continue mixing, and slowly ladle in the hot milk mixture, drizzling a little at a time to gently temper the eggs.
5. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until thickened just enough to coat the back of a spoon (or until the mixture reaches a temperature of 175-180 degrees F). Be sure to stir gently but continuously, scraping the bottom of the pot to keep the eggs from cooking too quickly. Do not let the mixture boil.
6. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, and place the bowl over a second bowl filled with ice water. Stir until cooled, then add the vanilla extract. Cover, and refrigerate for a few hours until completely chilled, or overnight.
7. Add the crème anglaise (ice cream base) to your ice cream machine, along with 1/2 of the strawberry rhubarb mixture. Churn according to ice cream machine’s instructions. Once finished, pour half of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Add a few spoonfuls of the remaining strawberry-rhubarb mixture, and swirl lightly with the tip of a knife. Spread the remaining ice cream over top, then add a few more spoonfuls of fruit and swirl again. Cover and place in the freezer for at least two hours, or until the ice cream has set up to your liking. Save any excess fruit mixture for spooning over the ice cream, or swirling into oatmeal, or eating with a spoon. Serve with a big handful of almond crumble topping.
For the crumble topping:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or sil-pat.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the butter, and drizzle in the almond extract. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture starts to look like wet sand. Mix in the rolled oats and sliced almonds.
3. Spread into an even layer on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden. Keep a close eye on it to keep it from burning. Remove from the oven and let cool, then break apart into bite-sized pieces. Add handfuls to ice cream, oatmeal, or directly to your mouth. Can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a couple of weeks.