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!
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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Author: Marie Asselin
I feel you need to strain the cooked gelato mixture first, then add the rhubarb compote.
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.