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!


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.


Calories per serving:

263 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Sodium Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 7g 10%
  • Carbs 47g 16%
  • Saturated 4g 19%
  • Fiber 1g 6%
  • Sugars 42g
  • Monounsaturated 2g
  • Polyunsaturated 0g
  • Protein 4g 9%
  • Cholesterol 21mg 7%
  • Sodium 83mg 3%
  • Calcium 190mg 19%
  • Magnesium 20mg 5%
  • Potassium 367mg 10%
  • Iron 0mg 1%
  • Zinc 1mg 3%
  • Phosphorus 107mg 15%
  • Vitamin A 86µg 10%
  • Vitamin C 6mg 10%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 4%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 13%
  • Niacin (B3) 0mg 2%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 3%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 11µg 3%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 8%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 0mg 2%
  • Vitamin K 23µg 28%
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