Scoopapalooza! It’s all about ice cream. Made with local ingredients, if we can swing it!
This one has local rhubarb and strawberries. Let’s face it, they’re the first dessert-type local ingredients we get here in NH every Spring. It’s still chilly here, folks--not too many choices yet. I made a Strawberry Rhubarb ice cream a couple years back, but I wanted to make another. That one was based on a simmered fruit sauce.
Something different. What to do?
“Elle, you could roast the rhubarb and berries first.” My brain seemed to say.
Oh yes! I’ve seen this before. So I roasted them with orange zest and juice, vanilla, and brown sugar. It makes the kitchen smell so pretty when they’re roasting, too! So that was the fruit component in this ice cream.
A good start, but I needed more. Cheesecake? Oh, cheesecake, I love you! Base ice cream: cheesecake.
Add ins? You guys know I love that good Ben & Jerry’s style of stuff-in-every-bite-of ice cream. Cheesecake has a crust, so that was a natural choice. Graham cracker crust, check. I love almond extract in all sorts of desserts and it just goes so well with strawberry and rhubarb, but I wanted chunks. I decided to go with my guilty pleasure, almond paste. Honestly. I can eat it right out of the tube. It’s too good! I have half a tube in the fridge right now. I could be eating it. I’ll refrain, otherwise I’ll get sidetracked.
This ice cream has everything I’d want in a cheesecake ice cream. It’s creamy, fruity, not too sweet--and it’s got chunks. Even the kids like it. Hey, it’s ice cream! They’re not crazy.
Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream
Makes 2 quarts.
Adapted from this recipe.
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
generous pound of strawberries, tops cut off and halved or quartered if large
zest of one orange
juice of 1/2 an orange
1 tsp vanilla extract (almond would be good here, too!)
3 tbsp brown sugar
16 oz cream cheese, at room temp
3/4 - 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet your fruit is
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups of the roasted fruit, mashed up
2 cups half and half
3/4 cups graham cracker crust crumbs, either a homemade crust or store bought (see note below)
3/4 cups almond paste, cut into a small dice
Start by roasting the fruit. Heat the oven to 350. On a large baking sheet with sides, mix the rhubarb, berries, zest and juice, vanilla and brown sugar. Toss it all together with your hands, and place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool, and then put it in a container in the fridge to chill completely.
To make the ice cream: Set the graham cracker crust crumbs and the almond paste cubes in the freezer to chill.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese, sugar (start with the 3/4 cup and add more if it needs it), lemon juice, almond extract, chilled, mashed pureed fruit and the half and half. Get it as smooth as you can, but don't worry if there are some small chunks of cream cheese left.
This makes a bit more than will fit into my ice cream maker, but I managed to squeeze in 3 1/2 cups of the mixture. There was a little left over that you can do what you want with. Like slurp it up with a spoon.
Freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions. In the last few minutes of freezing time, add the graham cracker crust crumbs and almond paste cubes. Finish the freezing process and place it in the freezer to harden up.
- This is a creamy ice cream, but like so many homemade (and premium) ice creams, it'll benefit from a few minutes on the counter before you scoop it. Or a few seconds in the microwave, like in my photos. I gave the container about 40-50 seconds in the microwave and it was perfect for scooping.
- The leftover roasted fruit makes a great ice cream topping, by the way. How about over your morning oatmeal? With yogurt! It’s also good eaten straight from the container.
- I made the crust on the side of the graham cracker crumbs box. Use your fave.