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Rhubarb Gelato

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Rhubarb Gelato

In this blush pink Rhubarb Gelato, the bright flavor of rhubarb is balanced by the silky-rich vanilla gelato base. It’s a memorably refreshing summer treat!

Rhubarb Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure is at the bottom of the article.


Is it gelato season yet? In my house, we love the iced treat so much that we enjoy it year-round, even in the heart of winter, although I like to rotate flavors according to seasons. Dark Chocolate Gelato is perfect for cold nights—especially served with an Italian digestif, such as Vin Santo—while White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato sings of summer.

Fresh rhubarb stalks at the market // FoodNouveau.com

In the spring, I always make a point of churning a batch of this blush pink Rhubarb Gelato. The bright, tart flavor of rhubarb is balanced by the silky smoothness of the Sicilian-style vanilla gelato base, while a hint of orange rounds things off perfectly. It’s a memorable springtime treat, one that, to me, rhymes with good things to come.

Rhubarb Gelato // FoodNouveau.com


Helpful Tips for Making Rhubarb Gelato


How to Get that Irresistible Blush Pink Shade

To make rhubarb gelato with a beautiful blush pink color, you need to select the “pinkest” parts of rhubarb stalks. (You can save greener parts to make compote, crumb bars, or pudding cakes!) If using whole stalks, the gelato color might end up more beige than pink. If this is the case, you can add a drop or two of pink food coloring to give the shade a little nudge.

Add Some Crunch 

Because I always like to serve gelato with a crunchy topping, I thought it would be nice to sprinkle this rhubarb gelato with sugar-coated fresh rhubarb pieces. This is a callback to a childhood memory of mine: when the rhubarb was ready in our backyard, my mom would hand my brother and I each a stalk and a small bowl of sugar. We’d dip the stalk in the sugar and crunch on that irresistible snack like our lives depended on it! This treat didn’t last long as we only could eat rhubarb stalks this way when the stalks were young and not too fibrous.

If you can find slender stalks in your own backyard or at the market, slice a few of them thinly, dip them into sugar, then sprinkle them over this rhubarb gelato. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy seasonal produce at its freshest!

Rhubarb Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

Plan Ahead

As with all gelato flavors, you should start the rhubarb gelato-making process a day in advance. Both the rhubarb compote and the gelato base need to be refrigerated to cool completely before being combined and churned together. Gelato custard must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.

Bring Rhubarb Gelato Back to Room Temperature Before Serving

Always remember to bring this rhubarb gelato to room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving. That will not only make it easier to serve—gelato’s lower fat content means it freezes rock hard—but also soften it to a consistency closer to what you would enjoy at a gelati bar, waking up the flavors and giving it the luxurious texture that is so easy to fall in love with.


HOW TO MAKE GELATO VIDEO CLASS

Never made gelato before? Curious about what makes gelato different from ice cream? Check out my detailed video class: How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat. In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into a variety of flavors, and all my secrets and tips to churn and serve outstanding gelato. I even share how to make dairy-free vegan gelato! In short, it’s a very thorough, colorful class that will quickly turn you into a gelato master. Watch Now!

How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat // FoodNouveau.com


Love Rhubarb?

Then you’ll find lots of inspiration in my delicious recipe collection: 25 Rhubarb Dessert Recipes for Spring. Fresh spring rhubarb is a short-lived treat that you absolutely must make the most of! Get inspired by this collection that includes cakes, tarts, crisps, preserves, and many more classic and creative rhubarb-centric dessert recipes.

25 Rhubarb Dessert Recipes for Spring: Cakes, Tarts, Crisps, Preserves, and More! // FoodNouveau.com


 
Rhubarb Gelato // FoodNouveau.com

Rhubarb Gelato

In this blush pink Rhubarb Gelato, the bright flavor of rhubarb is balanced by the silky-rich vanilla gelato base. It's a memorably refreshing summer treat!
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Freezing Time:4 hrs
Servings 1 quart (4 cups/1L)

Ingredients

For the Gelato Base

For the Rhubarb Compote

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • ½ cup cane sugar, or granulated sugar
  • Zest from ½ orange
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional, helps keep gelato at a softer texture even when fully frozen)

Instructions

  • For the gelato base: Make the gelato base of your choice, then strain it into an airtight container. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. The gelato base must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.
  • For the rhubarb compote: In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and zest, and Cointreau or Grand-Marnier. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the rhubarb is very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Blend to a very smooth consistency using a stand blender or stick blender. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely cool.
  • To churn the rhubarb gelato: Fish the vanilla bean out of the gelato base. Whisk the rhubarb compote into the cold gelato base. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is icy but still soft.
  • STORAGE: Transfer the rhubarb gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours.
    Rhubarb gelato is at its creamiest and best if enjoyed within 2 weeks. Past that, some ice crystals will inevitably start forming (especially if the gelato is kept in the freezer section of a regular fridge, as opposed to a chest freezer) and the texture won't be quite as smooth. The gelato will still be perfectly edible for up to 2 months, but my advice is: enjoy it as quickly as possible after churning.
  • SERVING: Always take rhubarb gelato out to room temperature 20 minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop. This will also allow you to enjoy the treat at its ideal temperature and texture.
  • COLOR NOTE: To achieve a blush pink color, you need to select the "pinkest" parts of rhubarb stalks. If using whole stalks, the color gelato might be more beige than pink, but you can add a drop or two of pink food coloring to give the shade a little nudge.
  • MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: When making the gelato base, substitute lactose-free milk or oat milk for the regular milk, and lactose-free heavy cream or soy cream for the regular heavy cream.

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Freezing Time: 4 hrs

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    • Hi there, I prefer straining the gelato mixture after incorporating the rhubarb compote because rhubarb can leave stringy bits even after pureeing, and I don’t want those in my gelato! But if you don’t mind the texture, you can sure strain the gelato custard, and then incorporate the puree before churning.