This Rhubarb Strawberry Ice Cream is absolutely delicious. It’s creamy, sweet and tangy and it beautifully expresses the natural flavours of the fresh, ripe strawberries and the rhubarb. Last night after my yoga class I dropped by Het Ijscuypje for some ice cream and was absolutely thrilled to find out they served rhubarb sorbet ice cream. As a rhubarb lover, of course I had to try some and it was utterly delicious. I’ve been having a rhubarb craze for a while now and have been creating lots of new recipes with rhubarb lately. I could not wait until the next morning to create my own version of rhubarb ice cream. Instead of a sorbet, I made a creamy, decadent thick ice cream. I used fresh rhubarb and beautiful big red, ripe strawberries from the first strawberry harvest at eco-farm de Stek in Lelystad, which, you can buy at De Aanzet.
I have roasted the rhubarb and macerated the strawberries which amps up their natural flavours making them even more delicious. Roasting the rhubarb caramelises the rhubarb, which intensifies its flavor. It also creates a lovely, sticky sweet juice that is full of flavour.
Macerating is similar to marinating veggies, fish or meat—but in this case you’re using fruit. It’s a very easy technique. Add some sugar, vinegar, lemon juice or liquor to a bowl of fruit and let it stand for 10 minutes or as long as overnight. Macerating is a healthy way too boost flavour In this case, the beautiful ripe strawberries take on the flavour of the balsamic making them sweet, juice, tangy and zesty all at the same time. The coconut sugar draws out the liquid from the fruit creating a sweet syrupy juice with a hint of the balsamic. The process of macerating also helps to soften the strawberries making them slightly mushy, which works really well in the ice cream.
It can be hard to make a vegan ice cream that does not freeze rock solid in the freezer. To make the ice cream softer, I have added almond milk and liquor. The healthy fats in the almond milk help to keep the ice cream softer once frozen. For the liquor I used Rabarcello, which is similar to limoncello, but this one is made with fresh rhubarb instead of lemons and it’s not as sweet. I was surprised to find out that Rabarcello is not an Italian liquor but it’s made right here in The Netherlands according to traditional methods. It’s artisanal-made with only three ingredients: fresh rhubarb, sugar and water. It’s all natural and has a refreshing, slightly sweet flavour. If you live in Amsterdam, you can buy it here.
I first discovered it at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, District 5, here in De Pijp. Ever since I have wanted to explore using it in one of my recipes. The alcohol acts like antifreeze in the ice cream, which helps to keep the ice cream softer once frozen. It will still be slightly harder than a more fatty full-cream dairy ice cream though. If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can leave it out too. It will still taste awesome. You will only need to take it out of the freezer earlier.
I have fallen in love with rhubarb and I hope you will too after tasting this Rhubarb Strawberry Icecream. If you are a rhubarb lover already, feel free to explore my other rhubarb recipes.
- 2 cups of strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 large stalks of rhubarb, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cup of coconut palm sugar
- 1 tbp of balsamic
- 1 1/2 -2 cups of almond milk
- coconut oil (to grease the baking tray)
- 3 tbsp of Rabarcello liquor
- Pre-heat the oven to 200c.
- Add the rhubarb to a light greased baking tray. Mix in 1 tbsp of balsamic and cover the rhubarb lightly with some of the coconut sugar. Roast the rhubarb in about 20-30 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and caramelized and the juices are juicy and sticky.
- Add the roasted rhubarb to a glass bowl and allow it to cool down.
- Add the strawberries to a small bowl, add 1 tsp of balsamic and 1 tbsp of coconut palm sugar and allow to macerate for 10 minutes. If you have more time, consider macerating them for 1 hour as this will enhance their flavor.
- When the rhubarb has cooled down, mix in 1 ½ cup of almond milk and half of the macerated strawberries. Add to a high-speed blender and pulse until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more almond milk. The ice-cream should have a salmon-like color and smooth, liquid structure. Add 3 tbsp of Rabarcello and pulse again.
- Add the ice cream to an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. If the pulsing in the blender has warmed up the mixture, cool down first in the refrigerator before adding it your ice cream maker.
- I added the other macerated strawberries before churning the ice-cream and I don’t recommend doing that as I lost all those beautiful chunks of strawberry. I recommend adding them -with all their lovely juices- to your ice-cream maker while churning it at the last stage of churning your ice-cream so they remain intact. It looks pretty too.
- If the ice cream is too soft to your liking, transfer to a container and put it in the freezer until firm. It’s best while enjoyed straight away. At least I couldn’t wait for very long! Enjoy!