Homemade Rhubarb & Ginger Ice Cream

Having come across a recipe for Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream in an old Good Housekeeping magazine last summer, plus having two children that will now eat it, I have begun experimenting with ice cream.

I don't have an ice cream maker so it has to be done the old fashioned way, stirring it every couple of hours. So it is a bit like bread making and requires you to be around the house for most of the day, but saying that when I made it the other day I cooked the rhubarb the night before, whisked everything together and put it in the freezer when I got back in from the morning school run, took Baby Boy out to a Mother & Toddler group for a couple of hours, came home and stirred the ice cream before lunch, stirred it again a couple of hours later before leaving on school pick-up, stirred it again before serving tea to the kids, stirred it again early evening, and then once again before going to bed. And I have to say this has turned out to be one of the best consistency ice creams I have made to date. (19/05/11 - made strawberry ice cream at 11am then forgot to stir it until 5pm. It was perfect. Stiff like hummous but easy enough to stir with a sturdy fork).

A glut of rhubarb in the garden led to this experiment which seems to be liked by adults and kids alike. The scary amount of sugar works well with the tart rhubarb and it tastes like Rhubarb Fool with the ginger giving it a little bit of grown up zing. I will however attempt a lower fat version of this with half cream half greek yoghurt when I next make it as I feel I am the wrong side of life to have such yummy ice cream within arms reach.

Rhubarb & Ginger or Rhubarb Fool Ice Cream
600g rhubarb
Zest & juice of 1 orange
Generous inch/2cm of ginger
2 free range/organic eggs
225g caster sugar
225g double cream

Put the cleaned and roughly chopped rhubarb into a saucepan with a lid. Add the zest the orange with a zester or grater (you don't want slices of peel in your ice cream!) as well as the juice of the orange. Simmer over a low heat until the rhubarb looks like it is pretty much broken down and mushy. Leave to cool then chill. This stage is probably done a day or two before so the rhubarb is good and chilled for the next stage.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a food processor if you have one until they are light and creamy. Add the double cream and whisk again for another couple of minutes. Finely chop or grate the peeled ginger and then stir this in with the rhubarb, juices and all. Pour into a tupperware container and place in the freezer. I think the bottom of the freezer is colder than the top as my last ice cream seemed to freeze quicker there. Set a reminder to stir in two hours if you think you won't remember! I reckon it needs stirring about 4-5 times 2 hours apart based on my last attempt.

To serve put in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving to make it soft enough to scoop, or just leave on the counter for 5 minutes if you forget like me!

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