This recipe happened somewhat accidentally, due to the fact that after recipe testing for the Spring Edition of the Cheese in the City Supper, I had copious amounts of fluffy housemade mascarpone custard in my fridge. Sitting right next to this heavenly vanilla bean cloud was a large container of stewed rhubarb and orange zest. I was at high risk of devouring all of the contents in my fridge in one sitting. There was only one solution to this predicament: Fold the stewed rhubarb into the custard, pack it all away in quart containers, and store it in the freezer. This solution worked for a day, until I tasted the frozen custard and then wanted it for breakfast.
The mascarpone custard was adapted from a New York Times recipe served with a pear gratin. In order to keep it seasonal, I replaced the pear with a stewed rhubarb recipe from Saveur. The great thing about this recipe is you can eat it both before and after it is frozen! Two recipes in one!
Yields 2 quarts ice cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3″ - 4″ pieces
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
To make the custard, heat the milk in a heavy saucepan until it is almost boiling. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until they are light and pale-colored. Beat sugar into the yolks, tablespoon by tablespoon. Add flour and beat until smooth. Add heated milk to the yolk mixture in a slow stream, beating constantly. Beat until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and chill.
When the mixture is thoroughly chilled, remove from refrigerator and whisk until smooth. Fold the mascarpone into the mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until medium-stiff and fold into the custard mixture. Stir in vanilla and chill until ready to use.
To make the stewed rhubarb, preheat oven to 325ºF. Put rhubarb into a medium baking dish. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the sugar over rhubarb, then scatter orange zest on top. Add enough water to baking dish to just cover rhubarb (about 4 cups). Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until rhubarb is very soft, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a large plate and pour sweet rhubarb juices from dish into a medium saucepan. Return rhubarb to baking dish and set aside. Boil rhubarb juices over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, 15-20 minutes, then pour over rhubarb in dish. Let cool to room temperature.
Fold 2 cups stewed rhubarb into the mascarpone custard. Distribute into plastic quart containers. Freeze for 24 hours before enjoying.