Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

by byn on July 15, 2013

in Frozen

Print Friendly

 Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Last Monday I had to leave work early to go to the dentist, and on the drive home, I noticed a bunch of traffic lights weren’t working. Hmmm, strange. It wasn’t raining, and there was no thunder or lightening, so I just thought it was one of those random things. When I got home and tried to get into my condo’s parking garage, the clicker wouldn’t work to open the door. Again, weird. I figured the power was out so I just did a 64-point-turn to get out of the driveway and parked in Visitor Parking. At this point, it started to rain. Hard. I got into the lobby where a bunch of people were congregated because the elevators weren’t working, and then proceeded to climb up 10 flights of stairs to my place. My phone was on “LOW BATTERY” so I shut it off in case I needed it later, and proceeded to just lie on the couch and read (The Engagements, by J.Courtney Sullivan is great, btw) until the power came back on. An hour later, my book was done, and there was still no power. I was getting ready to crack open another book when two words floated to the front of my brain and I bolted up off the couch. Those words were: 1) BLACKOUT 2) ICE CREAM.

In August 2003, the city of Toronto and surrounding areas experienced a blackout that left many areas without power for DAYS. It was crazy. People stuck on subways, in elevators, on the highways, it was pandemonium.  My blackout story isn’t that exciting, because I just chilled in my parents’ basement, but it was that thought that made me suddenly scared that the power wasn’t just out for a couple of hours, but that we were experiencing Blackout 2.0, almost exactly ten years later. Knowing what I know now about what was happening in the real world, I’m embarrassed to admit that the thought that immediately followed wasn’t about flooding, or car accidents, or being stranded on public transit. My #1 concern was the ice cream in my freezer.

This ice cream is a labour of love that I had worked on over the course of the entire weekend. If you’ve made ice cream before, you know it’s a multi-day process, and this one involved making the separate fruit and custard components, mixing up and baking the crumble pieces, churning the whole thing in the ice cream maker, lovingly layering all the ice cream and crumbles together, before the whole thing went into the freezer on Sunday night for it’s final freeze. I hadn’t even taken any pictures of it that power-less Monday night, much less even tried it! I had a vision of the whole thing melting overnight; all my beautiful work, all the sweet, local, juicy strawberries that had gone into it, the last of my rhubarb for the year, the cute, crunchy cookie-like crumbles. I was just too sad.

So I located my flashlight, and turned my phone on, and used my last 1/4 bar of power to text with my Mom and friends. Mom’s wise words of advice: STOP OPENING THE FREEZER TO CHECK ON IT AND IT WILL STAY COLD. So true, Mom, so true. I tried to sleep a little, but with no AC it was kind of hot, and I kept waking up every hour or so. Around 4am, the power came back on and I finally got online and saw all the craziness that had happened the previous evening, including a flooded commuter train that trapped passengers for nine hours before they were rescued by dingys. I can’t. even. imagine.

So I’m lucky, I know, that my biggest problem was ice cream, but holy cow, what an ice cream. I saw this recipe in the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine and knew I wanted to make it right away. My friend Carole made it as well, but she swapped out the pastry pieces for homemade graham crackers. I liked that idea, so I swapped in some crumble-y bits that Megabite used in her Berry Crumble Ice Cream. This project doesn’t seem so daunting if you split it up over a few days, which I did, and the end result is so, so worth it. I originally was going to write this post about how I didn’t think I liked Strawberry Ice Cream, which now just seems ridiculous once you’ve had the real thing. Final note: as a ice cream making newbie, I wasn’t sure about the whole eggs in here. Every other ice cream recipe I’ve seen has only used the yolks, but Carole advised that hers turned out fine. And with that, rhubarb season is over! Until next year!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Source: Ice Cream from Food & Drink Magazine Summer 2013, Crumble from Take a Megabite, Inspiration from Carole


For the Fruit Part

1 1/2 cups washed, hulled and chopped strawberries

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup chopped rhubarb

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp water

For the Custard Part

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream

For the Crumble Part

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cool (not super hard but not super soft)


  1. For the fruit part, toss strawberries and sugar together in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, stir together the rhubarb, sugar and water and place over medium heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes until rhubarb has broken down. Pour over the strawberries and toss together. The heat from the rhubarb will soften the strawberries a bit. Cover and stick in the fridge until totally chilled. 
  2. For the custard part, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it’s just about to boil. Add a splash of the hot cream to the egg/sugar mixture and whisk. Repeat a few times (you’re slowly bringing up the temperature of the egg mixture so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs), then slowly pour in rest of the cream while constantly whisking, then return the mixture to the saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until thickened, and the mixture reaches 170 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour into a bowl, cover, and stick in the fridge until totally chilled.
  3. For the crumble part, preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Then use your hands to smoosh everything together until a nice crumbley mess forms. Sprinkle clumps on the baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes until crumbles are golden brown. Toss every 5-10 minutes to ensure even browning. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  4. When you’re ready to churn, add the custard to the ice cream maker first, and when it looks like soft serve, add in the fruit mixture. Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe resealable plastic container, layering it up with handfuls of crumble. Freeze overnight.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

carole brown August 2, 2013 at 8:07 am

oh my, that looks better than my version – i like the crumble even better than the graham crackers


NicD July 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Droooooool. I need to make some of this asap.


byn July 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Did you get the ice cream attachment for your KitchenAid?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: