Dessert, Frozen Treats

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken Rhubarb

Nicoletta May 30, 2016

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This Strawberry ice cream with drunken rhubarb is tart and sweet at the same time, has a beautiful light pink color and a lovely creaminess with juicy chunks of fruit. Recipe developed for the group #CDNFoodCreatives.

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

When I was a kid I did ballet for 6 years, and I loved it. I used to wait impatiently for the days when I had class, and I was so proud at the end of the year to invite my parents and other members of my family to the rehearsal. It was usually held in a fancy teatro, live theater, the one with the wood chairs, a stall and balconies, and that looked huge and frightening to a bunch of small girls dancing on the stage. Of course, in those years, my dream was to become an étoile, a professional ballet dancer, but I got over it eventually 😉 .



In my prepubescent years I was not as slim as ballet standards would have liked. I mean, I wasn’t overweight, I had just cute puffy cheeks and a belly. That is, I did not have the structure of a ballet dancer, so after six years, when I realized my dream wasn’t going to happen, I stopped. My “problem” was that I’ve always loved sweets. I was born with a sweet tooth and from breakfast, to snack time, to -sometimes- after supper treat, a sweet has always made me happy. I hardly ever had any processed sweets, though, mostly my mother creations, or pane e nutella (nutella on toast) or pane e zucchero from my grandma (a simple slice of bread lightly wet in water and sprinkled with granulated sugar). In the summer, after my ballet classes, my treat was gelato. Fragola e Cioccolato (Strawberry and Chocolate), in a cone, were my flavors. And strawberries were my favorite fruit. I had to wait late April/May, though, to finally have some, and they had a short life, by the end of June they were already gone. In my family fruit and vegetables were only eaten seasonal, there were no strawberries in the winter, or fall, or late summer. For the reason of having a short appearance in my life, I tended to over eat them. My mother likes to recall one episode when I was a child, where she took me to the doctor thinking I had measles, only to be told I had eaten too many strawberries and developed an allergic reaction 🙂 . Now I’m more cautious, I know when to stop, but strawberries still remain my favorite fruit.

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

Rhubarb is a different story, I had never seen the plant, nor eaten it, before coming to Canada few years ago. Rhubarb, in my childhood, was only associated with some caramelle al rabarbaro (rhubarb candies), that some grown ups ate and that made me squint. Now it is a flavor I’ve come accustomed to love, especially when paired with strawberry, and look forward to seeing it in the Farmer’s Markets and growing in my in-laws’ backyard.

So when the #CDNFoodCreatives Group, which I am proudly part of, had for their May theme Strawberries, I knew I had to blend strawberry and rhubarb together. Too good not to.

How to make Strawberry Ice Cream (with drunken rhubarb):

You need fresh strawberries and rhubarb, of course. Milk and whipping cream, a couple fresh organic free-range eggs, some sugar, and red wine. Yes, in this recipe, the rhubarb gets a little drunk, lol. The added red wine and sugar while the rhubarb is simmering in the saucepan until tender, develops a beautiful and flavorful syrupy liquid. After it cooled off a bit, we blended it with the strawberries and then into the custard mixture. The look and the smell was already delicious.

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

In the ice cream maker it goes, and after churning for a while here it is, your Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken Rhubarb: beautiful light pink color, a lovely creaminess, with juicy chunks of fruit. We did the taste test right away, when it was still creamy and before it rest in the freezer: tart and sweet at the same time, super delicious!

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

In a waffle cone is fantastic, but if you don’t want your strawberry ice cream in a cone, here’s a cup for you.


Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

Song of the day: “Shine a light” by Banners.

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken Rhubarb

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup rhubarb
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp red wine


  1. Combine milk and whipping cream in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat milk mixture to 180° F or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).
  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until pale yellow. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  3. Pour the egg yolk mixture into pan with remaining milk mixture; cook over medium-low heat until a thermometer registers 160° F (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly.
  4. Let custard cools completely, stirring occasionally.
  5. Combine 2 Tbsp of sugar, rhubarb, and wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and liquid is syrupy. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
  6. Combine rhubarb mixture and strawberries in a blender; process until smooth.
  7. Stir rhubarb mixture into custard mixture.
  8. Pour custard/rhubarb/strawberry mixture into the ice cream maker and churn until desired thickness (at least 15-20 minutes).
  9. Scoop ice cream into a container, cover with a plastic wrap and put in the freezer.
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Thanks so much to the host, Amanda of The Cinnamon Scrolls, for putting this #CDNFoodCreatives group together. Scroll down for the links to the other amazing recipes featuring Strawberries.


Disclosure: All links in our posts are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

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  • Avatar
    Reply Maria May 30, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Nicoletta, your post brings a smile to my face. My grandmother would offer us bread soaked in a little milk with a sprinkle of sugar. Of course, as kids we kept complaining that there was never enough sugar on the bread. I also love strawberries and have eaten my fair share… although I admit not to the point of seeing a doctor! Thank-you so much for this wonderful recipe…can’t wait to try it!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Thank you so much Maria, our nonne were on the same page giving us pane e zucchero 😉 . So simple, so good! Strawberries are just sooo good I didn’t know when to stop eating them 🙂 . This ice cream is delicious because of the tartness of the rhubarb that compensates for the sweetness of the strawberries.

  • Avatar
    Reply Demeter | Beaming Baker May 30, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Nicoletta, I loved hearing about your time in the ballet. 🙂 It must’ve been very wonderful doing ballet as a child–especially the performances! I, like you, have a bit/a large affinity for sweets, so this recipe is right up my alley. I love how you incorporated drunken rhubarb into an already creamy and delicious strawberry ice cream treat. Pinning!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Demeter, I have definitely a large affinity for sweets 😉 (although they don’t have to be too sweet). Here the drunken rhubarb is perfect, it gives that little extra zing. Thanks, I’m always happy when you stop by 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Adina May 30, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I have been meaning to make some strawberry ice cream soon and this recipe sounds perfect also due to the rhubarb, I still have tons of it! I hope it works without the ice cream machine too, I don’t have one…

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Thank you Adina! You don’t need an ice cream maker, after you stir the rhubarb mixture into the custard mixture, mixing well, pour the “soon to become ice cream” into the freezer, cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let stand until firm. As for me, I prefer when it’s creamy and not too hard 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Meaghan May 30, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Just when you think strawberries can not get any better, you go and add rhubarb and red wine to the mix. Love love love this ice cream recipe! And I don’t even need an ice cream maker to enjoy. Loved your story of wanting to be a ballerina 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much Meaghan! Yes ballerina was my childhood dream, but I was a little overweight, then in the years afterward I starved myself to death and my dream was to become a runway model, but I was too short…so many shattered dreams 😉 . This ice cream is delicious and it works even without the ice cream maker.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jo-Anna May 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I love strawberries so much as well, and paired with rhubarb they make my most favourite spring time flavour combination! I love that you made a homemade ice cream with them…I can just taste it…and with a little red wine, heavenly!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Strawberry lovers here 😊. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, yes the wine in the rhubarb just took it over the top.

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls May 30, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I love this recipe, Nicoletta! Strawberry ice cream is one of my absolute favourite treats in the summer; mixing it with drunken rhubarb just puts it over the top! Thank you also for sharing your lovely stories about your family. I always find it enjoyable to hear about bloggers’ histories and how they came to develop recipes. Thank you for participating this month! 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Amanda thank you for creating such a great group! Loved this theme, as you could read strawberries have always been my favorite 😋.

  • Avatar
    Reply Vicky Chin May 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Great recipe Nicoletta ! It’s funny how food can always bring us back to our childhood. I used to get an ice cream treat after I went to the dentist ! I just got an ice cream machine not too long ago, so this will definitely be on my list , thanks for sharing !

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Vicky. Great that you have an ice cream machine, hope you enjoy it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Samantha | My Kitchen Love May 30, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    I’d take sweets over ballet any day! That being said, I hope your allergies were ok with this collaboration. Your creative looks divine! I really love your photo with the ice cream scoop!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 30, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks so much Samantha, allergy under control 😄. Loved this theme and all the recipes, I felt inspired 😉.

  • Avatar
    Reply Cassie | Crumb Kitchen May 31, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Ohhh I love this! That shot with the ice cream in the metal pan….it’s only 5:40 a.m. where I am, but I want ice cream NOW! Plus rhubarb, one of the best seasonal ingredients out there? Amazing.

    If it makes you feel better, I was (and still am) a bit ‘puffy’ because of my love for desserts too. 😉 I accept it! Desserts are delicious.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 31, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Oh, you’re so nice Cassie! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment (which makes me feel a little better 😉 ). Dessert time is the best part of the day 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy May 31, 2016 at 11:02 am

    This looks so beautiful. The classic combo of strawberry/rhubarb in a yummy frozen version. Perfect for the backyard BBQ season!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 31, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Thanks Gloria! Yes, perfect for patio nights and BBQ parties!

  • Avatar
    Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After June 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    You had me at drunken rhubarb! hahaha! This ice cream looks so delicious and dreamy. Oh, I could eat this non-stop, all day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guess I’m making it soon 😉 Loving all the strawberry recipes too!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 1, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Karrie, thank you! It was actually that good 😉 . It’s so nice when you stop by and leave us a note 😉 . Hope you make it and enjoy it with J!

  • Avatar
    Reply annie@ciaochowbambina June 2, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I love learning about your childhood in Italy…I would have loved to try ballet. It was difficult for us as my mom didn’t drive so we just danced to Barry Manilow in the basement… I sure would love a cone filled with this gorgeous ballerina pink ice cream! This is dreamy, my friend! 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      My mom didn’t drive either, we walked, her or my nonna brought me. Such good memories! I can just picture you dancing in the basement 😉 Thanks Annie for your lovely comment, you know I’d love to share a gelato with you over a nice chat 🙂 .

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