I also have a little bit of a confession to make today, "I, Sandra Kehoe, have never tasted nor cooked with rhubarb before". I know, try not to judge me too harshly. While working with my health coach, Irina Kachalenko I vowed to keep an open mind and try new things. So this spring I got yet another chance to try a food that I always shied away from because it just seemed weird. In my mind I have always thought, poisonous leaves on top of super long crazy hot pink stalks of vegetable matter. I'm not so sure I want to go near it let alone put it in my mouth. So this year I put on my big girl pants and grabbed all the rhubarb at the farm stand counter. I wonder if I looked a little desperate or maybe they just remembered me from my first trip when I cleaned out their whole stash of asparagus just minutes after they picked it (the crazy lady with two kids, I guess it's pretty hard to forget). So to make a long story short, lets just say I have a new love for all things rhubarb. I have been eating it on or with everything for the last few days and I can't get enough. I really wanted to make an ice cream that was just purely rhubarb because I enjoy the tartness. We have been having some hot sticky weather here in New Jersey so ice cream just seemed like the perfect treat in lieu of heating up the oven to make a pie.
Rhubarb Ice Cream (Vegan)
3 cups coconut milk (full fat coconut milk or make your own coconut milk)
1 cup rhubarb syrup (recipe below)
1 cup rhubarb pulp (byproduct of making rhubarb syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon tapioca flour/starch
2 teaspoons beet juice (optional - to add color - I promise it won't taste at all like beets)
Simmer the 3 cups of coconut milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of rhubarb syrup and 1 cup of rhubarb pulp and gently whisk to combine. Allow the milk to simmer for 2-3 minutes while gently whisking and then remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla, tapioca flour and beet juice. Transfer the mixture into a glass bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 4-6 hours. (You can cover the bowl once the mixture cools down a bit). At this point you need to process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions or until you know it is ready (mine took two batches at 15 minutes each). Transfer the "soft" ice cream to a container and freeze until the ice cream is set.
NOTE: I recommend eating your ice cream right as it is processing in the ice cream maker. They conveniently designed ice cream makers with a hole in the top just for this purpose. I'm serious, there is really no better way to enjoy homemade ice cream!
2 lbs of rhubarb, chopped
1 cup of water
sugar (I used unrefined cane sugar)
Simmer the chopped rhubarb in 1 cup of water over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until all the rhubarb is disintegrated. Stir occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn't burn. Transfer the hot rhubarb into a jelly bag or cheesecloth over a bowl and hang it up to allow the juice to strain overnight. (This is the perfect time to chill the base of your ice cream maker).
In the morning take the juice and place it back into a saucepan over medium heat. (I got 2 cups of juice). Reserve the rhubarb pulp that is left in the cheesecloth for making the ice cream. Add 1 cup of sugar to every 2 cups of rhubarb juice and stir until the sugar is all dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove it from the heat to cool. The rhubarb ice cream will take 1 cup of the finished syrup. Store the remaining cup in the refrigerator for other purposes.