Rhubarb Gelato

Rhubarb Gelato
Viviane Bauquet Farre


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

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, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 41g 62%
  • Carbs 284g 95%
  • Saturated 23g 114%
  • Fiber 8g 33%
  • Sugars 255g
  • Monounsaturated 10g
  • Polyunsaturated 2g
  • Protein 27g 54%
  • Cholesterol 125mg 42%
  • Sodium 497mg 21%
  • Calcium 1,140mg 114%
  • Magnesium 122mg 30%
  • Potassium 2,204mg 63%
  • Iron 2mg 9%
  • Zinc 3mg 20%
  • Phosphorus 640mg 91%
  • Vitamin A 516µg 57%
  • Vitamin C 36mg 60%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 26%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 76%
  • Niacin (B3) 2mg 10%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 18%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 69µg 17%
  • Vitamin B12 3µg 48%
  • Vitamin D 8µg 2%
  • Vitamin E 2mg 9%
  • Vitamin K 136µg 171%
Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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