By Victoria Petersen
Rhubarb is everywhere. I heard you can find it growing wild in Nikiski, but for many of us, to get some rhubarb, we just have to visit our backyard, or maybe our front porch.
I knew I wanted to write about rhubarb, because it’s so ubiquitous with what we eat in the summertime, but I didn’t want to tell you to make a pie, or jelly, or crumble — even though I did make a strawberry rhubarb crumble last week. If you haven’t made a rhubarb crumble or pie or jelly, look to the internet to find a billion great recipes for those things. I’m here now to tell you something different you can do with your rhubarb.
Last week, all I wanted was ice cream. It gets so hot inside our house and all I could think about was how to make rhubarb into something cold, even frozen. Ice cream was the answer.
There are multiple ways to make ice cream. There are custard bases, eggless bases, dairy-free kinds and easy no-churn no-special-equipment-required kinds of ice cream. I’m going to show you a no-churn recipe, since I’m assuming most people don’t have an ice cream maker at home. But, if you do have an ice cream maker at home, your ice cream will be creamier and more satisfying. Just make the custard base you normally would, adding a little cardamom or vanilla for flavoring and when it comes time to churn, add in the rest.
So back to the hot afternoon inside my house while I’m trying to figure out how to make an easy ice cream. The base of the ice cream is just two ingredients: heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. I added cardamom because the aromatics of this spice, and other spices, complements rhubarb really well. If you don’t have cardamom, I would use vanilla.
When I had my base ready, I was thinking about cooking down some rhubarb and strawberries and making a compote, and then taking that compote and swirling it through the thick ice cream base.
I was rummaging through our cupboard looking for cardamom when I found a very small unopened jar of rhubarb jelly made for me by my cousin. Easy.
My base of whipped cream, folded with sweetened condensed milk was all together in a loaf pan now.
I opened the little jelly jar and poured the whole thing in, took a chopstick and swirled it all around.
If I was more ambitious, I might have made another strawberry rhubarb crumble, crumbled it up into small chunks and thrown those into the base. It probably would have been good. But, maybe next time.
You’ll need a mixer to whip the heavy whipping cream, and a vessel to freeze the mix in. I used a loaf pan, but any metal or glass pan will do.
No-churn cardamom rhubarb ice cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tablespoon of cardamom
1-3 cups of rhubarb compote, jelly, marmalade or jam, to taste
1. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and a bowl, whip the heavy cream for several minutes, until distinct peaks form. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk to the whipped cream and gently fold until the two are combined. Pour into a loaf pan or other vessel.
2. Take the rhubarb preserves and pour into the whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Using a fork, slowly mix in the rhubarb preserves until the preserves are ribboned throughout the mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least three hours.
Victoria Petersen is a home cook who strives to make recipes accessible and as locally sourced as possible. She previously wrote the column from her spacious kitchen off K-Beach Road, but is now working from a small apartment in Anchorage. However, she makes sure to visit friends and family on the Kenai for foraging and fishing.
• By Victoria Petersen, For the Peninsula Clarion