Week 20: Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Alice NeillSpring, Weekly RecipesLeave a Comment

Serves 6

As soon as the sun is shinning I go to my Delia Smith ‘Summer’ cook book. She is full of inspirational ideas of how to use seasonal recipes to make Show Stopping dishes. Her Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream is a tried and tested favourite.  I have adapted this recipe by making a custard which in my opinion makes the best base for ice cream. A word of warning about custard. For those who have made custard before, they will know that it can curdle very easily. This is when the mixture gets too hot and the milk starts to separate, forming lumps. To stop this from happening you need to cook the custard on a very low heat, stirring continuously. Alternatively you can cook it in a bowl over simmering water (Ban Marie) this will take about 20-25 minutes.  If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can do this by hand; complete all the steps before pouring into the machine, fold in the rhubarb and crumble place in a tupper wear box in the freezer. Stir every hour with a fork, repeat 4 times.

We are coming to the end of the rhubarb season, but will still have an abundance in the garden. End of season rhubarb is larger and tougher than the first harvest, but is still packed with flavour. It needs a little more cooking as it can be a bit woody.

This makes a lovely dessert served with poached rhubarb and a little crumble topping. Or scooped in to a cone to enjoy on a warm spring day.


Custard Base

250ml Milk

300ml Double Cream

4 Egg Yolks

100g Caster Sugar

1 Vanilla Pod

Rhubarb Puree

300g Rhubarb

50g Caster Sugar

Crumble Top

50g Butter

60g Flour

30g Ground Almonds (optional)

20g Demerara Sugar



  1. Split the vanilla pod in half and remove the seeds, place in a pan with the milk and bring to a gentle simmer, remove from the heat
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together
  3. Whisk in the hot milk and vanilla. Place this in a pan on a very low heat continually stir until thickened then pour in to a bowl to cool.
  4. Remove from the heat, take out the vanilla pod and pour in the cream. Leave to one side until cool.

Rhubarb Puree

  1. Chop the rhubarb in to 2 inch pieces
  2. Place in a pan with the sugar, with the lid on simmer for 10 minutes, then leave to cool
  3. If there is a lot of excess water, strain away so you are left with a thick puree

Crumble Top

  1. Rub all the ingredients together and place on a baking tray in the oven at 180 for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes remove from the oven, turning the ‘crumbs’ over to ensure they all turn golden.


  1. In an ice-cream machine pour in the custard base and churn until it forms ice cream. This time will vary depending on your machine.
  2. Fold in the cooled Rhubarb puree and the crumble topping (leave some aside to garnish)
  3. Place in an air tight container in the freezer leave for 4 hours before serving.