Rhubarb crumble ice cream

Surely the highlight of summer holidays has to be the opportunity for great ice cream every day. I remember all my recent holidays by the standard of the ice cream I had. In Malaga at Christmas I discovered the most perfect unadulterated raspberry sorbet. I returned so regularly for it throughout the week that I am sure the server started to recognise me. In April, I went to Florence with my best friend for just three days. Despite initial plans to try as many ice cream parlours and flavours as possible, one little ice cream shop opposite the Pitti Palace captured our hearts with it’s amazing caramel and white chocolate flavour. I know, it sounds sickly sweet, but I promise you it was balanced perfectly – smooth white chocolate ice cream, dark and salty caramel, a thick layer of dark chocolate fudge on top. A bold tangerine flavour discovered on an evening stroll was also deliciously memorable. I am headed to Rhodes and Symi in August and I’m already excited for more ice cream discoveries.

Perfect ice cream is too good to be restricted to holidays. Returning from travelling, I wanted to make a classic English flavour and considering my well documented rhubarb obsession, this seemed like a good place to start. I always make ice cream using the no-churn method – it is super easy and doesn’t require an ice cream maker, but still achieves really creamy and smooth results so you’d never know there wasn’t a custard base. Cooking the rhubarb and crumble adds a few more steps so having the ice cream base come together really quickly is extra helpful. The end result is the perfect treat on an English summer afternoon – tart swirls of pretty pink rhubarb, crunch from the crumble and extra flavour from the oats. Enjoy!

Rhubarb crumble ice cream

  • 400g rhubarb
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 140g plain flour
  • 10g butter
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • handful of rolled oats
  • 300ml double cream
  • 175ml condensed milk

Begin with the rhubarb. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Chop the rhubarb into 5cm lengths and place in a single layer on a baking tray. Sprinkle with the caster sugar. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the rhubarb is tender when pierced with a fork.

For the crumble, rub together the flour, butter and light brown sugar until just past breadcrumbs and beginning to form small lumps. Add the oats and stir through. Scatter in a single layer on a baking tray and bake above the rhubarb for 10-15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Remove the rhubarb from the oven and tip into a food processor or blender, including all the juices. Blend to a smooth puree.

Whisk the double cream and condensed milk together until forming soft peaks. Stir through 2/3 of the rhubarb puree and 2/3 of the cooled crumble chunks. Scrape half the mixture into a Tupperware container. Spoon over half the remaining rhubarb puree, and half the remaining crumble. Swirl using the end of a spoon to create a ripple effect. Top with the rest of the ice cream mixture, puree and crumble. Freeze for four hours or overnight until solid.

Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream

‘What do you feed a horse?’ is not a question I expected to be asked in a one-on-one class with my Cambridge history lecturer. Somehow a conversation on Medieval economics and agriculture had led to me revealing my extreme lack of farming knowledge. ‘Grass?’ I offered hesitantly, after much thought. ‘Well done!’ my lecturer grinned, and I felt like I was back in primary school. ‘Anything else?’ ‘Crops?’ ‘Yes! Whereas an ox eats…?’ ‘Just grass?’ ‘Yes, well done!’ It was the simplest conversation ever but there is something about sitting in a room with an extremely clever Cambridge professor that makes you doubt everything you know. ‘And other than farming, what else can you use a horse for?’ ‘You can like.. ride it?’ ‘Yes!’

‘I can tell you are not from a farming background’, my lecturer laughed politely. ‘Neither am I,’ he continued, ‘but I do know what a horse eats.’ My London heritage has never been so obvious. Next week, I am doing an essay on towns: much more my forte. After an hour of struggling through farming chat, I was definitely in need of a post-supervision treat. Luckily, I had stores of this super simple ice cream waiting in my freezer.

lemon meringue pie ice cream

As June is now here, I felt it was time for a properly summery ice cream. I’ve been making a lot of rich, chocolatey ones recently (of which more soon!) but, much to the despair of my chocoholic friend, I was craving something more refreshing and light. Lemon meringue pie was one of the first desserts I ever made and it seemed like it would make a great ice cream. This one is a little more complicated than previous versions of my no-churn ice cream, but only because it has a few more additions – the base is exactly the same and it still takes less than 10 minutes to make. Particularly if you have a few friends on hand to form an ice cream team like I did! I think this turned out to be my favourite ice cream so far – zesty, light, tangy with lemon curd but sweet with meringues. It was definitely a challenge having this in my freezer and having to resist it, but luckily it was popular with my friends too and it did not last long.

No Churn Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream

  • 300ml double cream
  • 1/2 tin of condensed milk
  • zest of 2 lemons, the juice of one
  • 4 shop-bought meringues
  • 100g shortcake biscuits
  • 100g lemon curd

Whisk together the double cream, condensed milk and lemon zest until soft peaks form. Crush the meringues and biscuits together into bitesize small chunks. Stir into the cream along with the lemon juice.

Scoop half the mixture into a Tupperware box and dollop over half the lemon curd. Swirl the lemon curd into the ice cream with the end of a spoon to create long ripples. Top with the remaining mixture and lemon curd and repeat the ripple process. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.