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Rhubarb Ice Cream Shortcake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Gentl & Hyers

Yield: Makes 1 qt. ice cream and 8 biscuits

Rhubarb, with its sweet-tart tang and rosy hue, is the pastry chef’s asparagus—one of the early but certain signs that spring has arrived. Unapologetically astringent in its raw form, rhubarb stewed with sugar becomes a silky pink sauce that makes gorgeous ice cream. Served with thick buttermilk biscuits flavored with cardamom and orange zest and topped with strawberry-rhubarb compote, it takes on new proportions.


For the rhubarb ice cream

  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 lb. (about 8 stalks) rhubarb, diced
  • 1 orange, juiced

For the shortcakes

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • Milk or cream, for brushing

For the strawberry-rhubarb compote

  • 14 oz. (6 to 8 stalks) rhubarb, trimmed, peeled, and diced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. ripe strawberries, hulled


Make the rhubarb ice cream

  • In a medium saucepan, scald the half-and-half and cream over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar and salt until pale and smooth. While whisking, slowly pour the scalded cream mixture into the egg yolks, then return the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture reaches 175°F and coats the spoon or spatula. Remove from the heat. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and cool in an ice bath. Chill for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, put the rhubarb (you should have about 3 cups) in a nonreactive saucepan with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and orange juice. Cover and cook over low heat until the rhubarb releases its juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and increase the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the water evaporates and the rhubarb has a soft, jam-like consistency, about 20 minutes. Strain off the liquid and reserve. Mash the solids, cool, and stir into the chilled ice cream base, adding enough reserved liquid to restore the pink color.
  • Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make the shortcakes

  • While the ice cream is freezing, make the shortcakes. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cardamom, and orange zest. Add the cold butter pieces and rub them with the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Slowly add the buttermilk, mixing with a fork just until combined. Do not overmix. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently pat or roll to a 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut 8 biscuits using a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment and lightly brush the tops with milk or cream. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Make the strawberry-rhubarb compote

  • Place the diced rhubarb, 1 Tbs. water, and sugar in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until the rhubarb is tender, stirring once or twice, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Slice the strawberries lengthwise, 1/8 inch thick, and add to the rhubarb. Shake the pan to distribute and allow the sauce to cool to lukewarm.

To serve

  • Split the biscuits and spoon some compote on the bottom half of each. Top with rhubarb ice cream and a bit more compote. Rest the top half of the biscuit alongside.the chefs collaborative cookbook


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