No Churn Rhubarb Orange Mascarpone Custard, or Ice Cream

Mascarpone Custard with Poached Rhubarb

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.

Jessica Sennett is the founder and inventor of Cheese Grotto. Her whole life is cheese - seriously.

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