Fresh is best—and in this recipe that means the eggs and cream as well as the fruit. Rhubarb is a classic complement to strawberries, especially during late June in the Midwest, where both fruits are in season at the same time.
1. Prepare/freeze the insert of an ice cream maker—hand-cranked or electric--according to manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Chop the rhubarb and place it in a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons water. Cover, bring to simmer, and cook until fruit is very tender, 10-15 minutes. Puree it in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar until it is fully dissolved. Taste the puree and add more sugar, if necessary, to reach a lightly sweet flavor, but with a nice edge of tartness. Cool the mixture.
3. Using a fork, mash the strawberries in a bowl with 3 tablespoons sugar. You don’t need to puree them, just mash to bumpy, juicy texture. Let stand until the sugar is fully dissolved.
4. Beat the egg yolks in a clean bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed until thickened and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Whisk 3/4 cup sugar and the flour in a large, heavy saucepan. Stir in the half & half. Place over medium heat and cook until the mixture barely begins to simmer. Don’t let it come to a boil. Whisk a ladleful of the hot half & half mixture into the egg yolks until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan; cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Again, don’t let it boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, rhubarb puree, and mashed strawberries. Transfer the mixture to a bowl then cover and refrigerate it until fully chilled, 4 or more hours.
5. Freeze the mixture in the ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions. Enjoy it right after churning or transfer it to an air-tight container and freeze it 4-8 hours before serving.
Copyright by Terese Allen