Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Cream

Last weekend for the Fourth of July, I made some ice-cream. Last time I did this I went with a very complicated chocolate recipe. This time I wanted to make it as simple as possible. I found a recipe for Philadelphia Vanilla Ice Cream that called for 1 quart thin cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla. That is. Just mix and freeze.

For this year’s ice cream, I used 1 pint heavy cream, 1 pint regular cream, 1 cup sugar, about a pound of unsweetened strawberries, and 4 stalks (I think) rhubarb. I pureed the strawberries, rhubarb and sugar. Then I mixed in the cream and froze it in my ice cream maker.

It froze well, and looks and tastes great (if you like strawberry-rhubarb). The only problem I have with it is that it’s a little chunky/crunchy. Next time I’ll have to run it in the food processor a bit longer and then strain out the seeds and pulp. I might add a few tablespoons of the pulp back into the mix for aesthetic reasons, but overall it needs to be smoother than this batch.

There are two major problems with making ice cream that keep me from making it more often. One is that I make way too much. My current ice cream maker holds up to 6 quarts. It would be great for big parties with 10+ people, but for everyday use it just makes way too much. The other problem is having to add crushed ice and salt. For one, I don’t keep that much (rock or table) salt on hand. Same with the crushed ice. It’s also pretty messy and easily adds over an hour to the ice cream making process.

When I was a kid, we had a small hand crank ice cream maker with a cannister that you would freeze and use as your source of “cold.” It looks like they sell electric models of the same concept now. I wonder why, with the electricity available, they don’t just use the Peltier Effect to supply the cold. This would make making ice cream as easy as making rice in a rice cooker.