I don't have an ice cream machine and I feel conflicted about them. I like making ice cream and a machine certainly makes the process easier, and give a slightly smoother, creamier result. I have waffled back and forth over buying one. But they are terrible space hogs and they are pretty one-task. I have plenty of space hog kitchen tools (stand mixer, food processor) and even lots of one task items (vegetable spiralizer, pasta roller, ravioli molds). But I'm just not sure I would use an ice cream maker more than a couple times a year. But it's summer and it's hot and this perfect idea of a summer ice cream kept rolling around my brain; strawberry rhubarb crumble ice cream. All the components, the gooey fruit, the crispy crumbs, packed into the ice cream.
Thankfully, you don't actually need an ice cream machine to make ice cream. David Lebovitz has a great post about making ice cream without a machine, and I have been used his technique a few times. It's so labour intensive that every time I do it, it puts me right off making ice cream for a long time. But it also satisfies my occasional urge to make ice cream without having to buy a bulky new kitchen tool. I'm pretty sure all the whisking must be cardiovascularly effective too, so making this is effectively like going to the gym. Good job!
strawberry rhubarb compote:
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbs water
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until fruit is falling apart. Set aside to cool.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cold butter
Combine ingredients in a food processor. Process into a rubble. Tip the crumbs out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 350 until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
vanilla ice cream:
adapted from David Lebovitz
- 1 cup whole milk
- A pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 cups cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan; heat on medium. Scrape a teaspoon along the inside of the vanilla bean; add seeds and bean pod to the pot. Take the pot of the heat and infuse for one hour, covered.
Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and place a medium bowl in the ice bath. Set a strainer on top and add the cream to this bowl. Stir the egg yolks together in a small bowl. Heat the milk in a sauce pan and pour a very small amount into the yolks, stirring constantly. Repeat this, adding about half the hot milk to the yolks. Return the yolks/milk into the saucepan and cook on medium until it thickens. Scrap the bottom of the pan well and stir constantly to prevent scolding or lumps. Strain the thickened custard into the cream. Stir to combine the cream and custard. Chill for several hours or overnight.
If you are using an ice cream machine, freeze the custard following your machine's instructions.
To freeze your ice cream with no machine, pour the custard into a wide, shallow pan and place in the freezer. Set a timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the pan and whisk vigorously. Make sure to scrape down the sides where the first ice crystals will begin to form.
Repeat this process every 30 minutes until the ice cream is very thick and whisking becomes very difficult. This will take ages, depending on how cold your freezer is, probably several hours.
Stir the cooled crumbs through the ice cream. Swirl the rhubarb compote through the cream. I like to keep distinct blobs of rhubarb strawberry goo in a vanilla ice cream matrix, so I stir it in minimally. Return to the freezer until the ice cream is firm, at least a couple hours.