Rhubarb Gelato

Rhubarb Gelato
Staff Writer
Rhubarb Gelato

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Rhubarb Gelato

What is it about iced desserts? Whether you’re 2 years old or 82, it’s hard to resist an ice cream cone. For most of us, I’m sure that frozen treats are some of our earliest, and happiest, food memories.

The only catch, as we all know, is that eating ice cream every day is not exactly good for your health. So several years ago I decided to create some recipes that would make this universally cherished dessert a bit less artery-clogging, yet just as luscious.

Instead of using the traditional tempered custard of egg yolks, sugar, and cream, I developed a lighter version with no eggs, no cream, and as little sugar as I could possibly use... and I’ve never looked back!

Now I have a repertoire of deliciously creamy gelatos that are laden neither with calories nor fat. So dig your spoon into this rhubarb gelato. It’s creamy, light, and packed with intense rhubarb flavors. The best part may just be that you can have seconds without giving it another thought!

Ingredients

For the rhubarb compote

  • 1  Tablespoon  water
  • 1  Pound  young rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4  Cups  sugar, preferably organic

For the gelato

  • 2 1/2  Cups  2-percent or whole milk
  • One 2-inch piece whole vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 1/3  Cup  sugar, preferably organic
  • 2  Tablespoons  cornstarch
  • 1/4  Cup  mascarpone

Directions

For the rhubarb compote

Combine the water, rhubarb, and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the rhubarb releases its juice and the slices break apart. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.

For the gelato

Place 2 cups of milk and the vanilla bean in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. (Maintain constant supervision since the milk can quickly boil over without warning.) Remove from the heat.

 

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk, sugar, and cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot milk and return the saucepan to the heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture slightly thickens, stirring constantly, about 5-6 minutes.

 

Remove the vanilla bean from the custard, scrape the seeds from the bean, and add to the custard. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours in the refrigerator or 45 minutes in the freezer.

 

When the gelato is well chilled, whisk in the mascarpone until well blended. Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. When the gelato is firm, pour the rhubarb compote in the bowl of the ice-cream maker and churn until the compote is well incorporated, about 1 minute. Transfer to a container and freeze until ready to serve.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
15g
21%
Sugar
12g
13%
Saturated Fat
6g
25%
Cholesterol
12mg
4%
Carbohydrate, by difference
49g
38%
Protein
3g
7%
Vitamin A, RAE
50µg
7%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
10mg
13%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
3µg
3%
Calcium, Ca
33mg
3%
Choline, total
12mg
3%
Fiber, total dietary
7g
28%
Fluoride, F
35µg
1%
Folate, total
26µg
7%
Iron, Fe
1mg
6%
Magnesium, Mg
16mg
5%
Niacin
2mg
14%
Phosphorus, P
58mg
8%
Selenium, Se
3µg
5%
Sodium, Na
250mg
17%
Water
134g
5%

Rhubarb Shopping Tip

Buying fruits in season when they are at the peak of their freshness make for great tasting food and can save you money.

Rhubarb Cooking Tip

Don’t throw out your overripe fruit – instead blend into a smoothie or salad dressing, add to muffin batter, bake into a cobbler, or boil down with sugar and a little lemon juice to make jam.