It was Monday afternoon and I was pacing my living room. My dear friend and cooking class partner, Julie, arrived to watch our boys while my husband and I headed off to the 20 week ultrasound. Those of you who have been down this road before know that this is probably the best appointment there is during pregnancy. And for us it was especially important because, most likely this is our last little bundle and I was bursting at the seams to find out the sex. Really, I’ve been quite a bear to live with.
I checked in for my appointment and continued to pace. My nerves were being passed on to my husband as he knew how badly I have been hoping for a little girl. Of course I adore little boys with their dirt covered hands and daily wrestling matches but I so longed for a bit more pink in my life. If you’ve been reading my blog this comes as no surprise.
Well, dear blog readers, I am so completely thrilled to say, “BRING ON THE PINK!! It’s a girl!!!” And a rather adorable one too. Most importantly the ultrasound showed she is healthy and growing bigger everyday.
I had the technician repeat this news and every time she referred to my baby as she or her I shrieked with joy. I immediately called my Mom and ten minutes later she was the car, determined to buy some pink for her new granddaughter. Friends, let’s just say that my little girl is ready to hit the beach in her plaid bathing suit and cupcake cover-up.
So in honor of this special occasion I made something sweet. And my goodness I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before – maybe it’s because I didn’t have a little girl in my belly inspiring pink creations.
Rhubarb ice cream with oatmeal shortbread. Oh dear is it ever delightful. Of course you all know how much I adore Rhubarb but let me just say that I think I’ve found my favorite way to enjoy it – in ice cream form. It’s sweet and tart, creamy and smooth and reminiscent of a Rhubarb crumble with the addition of the shortbread.
The Rhubarb is first braised in vanilla bean and butter. That luscious mixture infuses with cream and whole milk and gets a splash of Spring essence in the form of Cherry Blossom extract (thanks to my dear friend Helen from Tartelette who sent me a bottle).
So please celebrate pink with me and the arrival of Spring by whipping up this delightful dessert.
Rhubarb Ice Cream with Oatmeal Shortbread
3- 3 1/2 cups Rhubarb chopped in 1/2″ chunks
2 oz. (1/2 stick) butter
1 Vanilla bean, seeds removed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar, not packed
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
7-10 drops cherry blossom extract (optional) – Rose water would be lovely as well
Combine the Rhubarb, butter, vanilla bean and seeds, vanilla extract, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan. Cover and place on medium-low heat. Simmer until Rhubarb is soft. This should take about 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and break up the Rhubarb with a wooden spoon. In a medium bowl combine the cream and milk then add the braised Rhubarb. Add the cherry blossom extract if you are lucky enough to have some. Let chill completely.
Churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
1 1/2 sticks butter, softenend
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tb. white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tb. vanilla extract
3/4 cup ground oatmeal (this can be done in a blender or food processor)
1 cup flour
Cream the butter and the sugars until light. Add the yolk and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Add the ground oatmeal and flour. Stir just to combine.
Roll into a 2″ log then wrap with parchment and chill.
Preheat oven to 350*.
Slice chilled log into 1/4″ discs – if you want them to look perfect use a 1 1/2″ round cutter. Sprinkle the tops with oatmeal then bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Let cool on a wire rack then serve with your ice cream.