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Make the most of your seasonal rhubarb with this Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream that has a deliciously tart ribbon of roasted rhubarb filling and plenty of buttery chunks of crumble topping throughout!

Rhubarb is one of nature’s most unusual and delicious vegetables! Be sure to try some of our other popular rhubarb recipes like Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars, Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake, and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

A close-up image of an ice cream scoop scooping a ball of rhubarb crumble ice cream.

Roasted Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Every year when rhubarb season rolls around, I stock up on as much as I possibly can. Whatever I don’t use right away, I chop up and freeze for later, since it’s practically impossible to find rhubarb any other time of the year!

Rhubarb is a bizarre plant, with leaves that are toxic to humans and bright red or green stems that are insanely tart. It’s technically a vegetable, although most often it is sweetened and used like fruit in dessert recipes.

Rhubarb’s tartness pairs perfectly with other fruits, especially strawberries. But it would be wonderful with raspberries, cherries, apples, or blueberries as well! In some ways, it’s like summer’s version of cranberries, which are another super tart fruit that tastes great in desserts.

But lately I’ve wanted just pure, unadulterated rhubarb without any other fruit to compete for my attention, which is why I made this rhubarb crumble ice cream. If you feel so inclined, you can substitute half of the rhubarb with another type of fruit and keep everything else the same.

A metal bread pan filled with rhubarb crumble ice cream next to some stalks of rhubarb.

Rhubarb crumble and rhubarb crisp are basically the same dessert, except a crisp has an oat topping while a crumble is kind of in between a crisp topping and a pie crust. It’s just flour, butter, sugar, and sugar that is cut together until it forms crumbs.

While it would be sprinkled loose over rhubarb filling and then baked in crumble form, here you bake it on it’s own into crunchy, crumbly pieces. Then they are mixed into the ice cream for a wonderful, buttery crunch that is heaven for a texture freak like me.

A glass dish with a scoop of rhubarb crumble ice cream in it in front of a container with the rest of the batch of ice cream.

I opted to swirl the rhubarb into the ice cream rather than mixing it in, but I’m sure it would be great that way too. If you want ice cream with all over rhubarb flavor, just mix the roasted rhubarb into the ice cream base before chilling it, then churn like normal. The ice cream will take on a lovely pink shade and have a wonderful, fruity taste. Or you can layer it for a swirled effect like this batch that I photographed for this post.

When you scoop the ice cream, ribbons of pink rhubarb jam adorn every mound of ice cream, flecked with bits of the crumble. Both are so good that you really can’t go wrong.

A glass dish with a scoop of rhubarb crumble ice cream in it.

How to make rhubarb crumble ice cream

There are a few different elements to making this ice cream – the crumble, the rhubarb jam, and the ice cream base – but none of them are particularly hard or time consuming. All of them can be done more than a day in advance to spread out the work.

A container filled with rhubarb crumble ice cream with scoops scooped out of it.

Crumble pieces

Make the crumble pieces by mashing softened butter into flour and brown sugar using a fork or your hands to create pea-sized crumbs. Spread these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees F. Cool a bit, then break this up into small chunks.

A glass bowl with brown sugar, flour, and butter.
A baking sheet with crumble topping spread out on it to bake.

Rhubarb jam

Wash and slice the rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces. Add them to an 8×8-inch baking dish and toss with 3/4 cup of sugar and lemon juice. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes until soft and syrupy, then blend or mash well and cool completely.

A square glass baking dish with chopped rhubarb and sugar in it.

Vanilla ice cream base

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk, whisking with a fork to create a slurry, then set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes, watching carefully to be sure the mixture doesn’t boil over. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and cook for another 2 minutes to thicken slightly, then remove from the heat.

In another bowl, pour about 1/4 of the hot milk mixture in with the cream cheese. Whisk well until the cream cheese is melted and they are smooth and combined. Pour in the rest of the hot milk mixture and vanilla, mixing well. If making rhubarb ice cream instead of the swirl version, go ahead and mix the mashed roasted rhubarb in now.

Make an ice bath in a large bowl, then pour the ice cream base into a smaller bowl or heavy duty zip tight bag and nestle it into the ice bath to chill quickly. Or if you are making the base ahead of time, you can skip the ice bath and just let the ice cream base chill in the fridge overnight. If making the swirled version of this rhubarb ice cream, make sure to chill the rhubarb filling and crumb pieces well during this time also.

Once the base is thoroughly chilled, pour it into an ice cream mixer and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions until thick and like soft-serve. Add in all but 1/2 cup of the crumble pieces during the last minute of churning so it can be evenly dispersed through the ice cream.

Scoops of vanilla ice cream with a ribbon of rhubarb jam and crumble pieces in it.

Layer half of the ice cream in a bread pan or other freezer-safe container, then drizzle half of the chilled rhubarb jam on top. Add the remaining ice cream, followed by the rest of the jam. Use a knife to swirl through the ice cream a few times, then sprinkle the reserved crumble pieces of the top.

Set the ice cream in the fridge to freezer for at least 4-6 hours or longer until “cured” and hard. If it is difficult to scoop the next day, let the ice cream sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften slightly, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

An ice cream scoop being used to scoop homemade rhubarb crumblel ice cream.
A bread pan filled with rhubarb crumble ice cream next to an ice cream scoop and stalks of rhubarb.

More ice cream recipes

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Roasted Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
Yield: 1.5 quarts

Roasted Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream

Make the most of your seasonal rhubarb with this Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream that has a deliciously tart and tangy ribbon of sweet roasted rhubarb filling and plenty of buttery chunks of crumble topping throughout!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients

Crumble

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened

Rhubarb Swirl

  • 1 pound (about 3 cups) rhubarb, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Ice Cream Base

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Instructions

  1. Combine crumble ingredients by cutting butter into the flour and sugar until pea-like crumbs form. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Cool then crumble.
  2. Combine rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a shallow pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until soft and syrupy. Cool, then blend. Cool completely, then chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Whisk cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the milk in a small bowl to create a slurry. Set aside.
  4. Heat cream, remaining milk, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, being careful to make sure it doesn't boil over, and cook for 4 minutes. Whisk in slurry and cook for another 2 minutes to thicken.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup over the cream cheese and whisk to combine until smooth. Add remaining milk mixture.
  6. Make an ice bath with water and ice. Pour the ice cream base into a bowl and nestle it into the ice bath to chill quickly or chill in the fridge overnight.
  7. When thoroughly chilled, pour the ice cream base into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn until it is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Add all but 1/2 cup of the crumble pieces during the last minute of churning.
  8. Layer half of the ice cream with half of the jam, then repeat with the remaining ice cream and jam. Use a knife to swirl the mixture a few times, then sprinkle the reserved crumble pieces on top. Set in the freezer for 4-6 hours to harden.

Notes

  • If you prefer a rhubarb ice cream that has rhubarb flavor throughout, add the mashed rhubarb mixture to the warm ice cream base, then chill both together before churning.
  • If you would like to try at oatmeal crisp topping rather than the crumble, you can use the one found in my Cherry Crisp Cake recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 0gSugar: 84gProtein: 4g