Rhubarb crumble ice cream

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 2 hours Serves: 8

Difficulty: 3/5

Children love ice cream and if you get an ice-cream maker and make your own you can persuade them to help you. Once you have a good basic ice-cream mix you can really push the boundaries and turn your favourite puddings into ice cream. By adding leftovers such as crumbles, chocolate brownies, treacle tart and so on to a vanilla base, they become unusual cool desserts, too. I’ve made this recipe from scratch and kept the topping separate from the apple filling to give the crunchy bits more impact. What’s more, the ice-cream base represents the custard, so you have the full dessert monty. Depending on the size of your ice-cream maker – some have their own built-in freezing mechanism, and smaller ones need to go in the freezer first – you may need to make this in two batches.

Recipe by Mark Hix


  • For the vanilla ice-cream base
  • 300ml creamy milk, such as gold top or Guernsey or Jersey
  • One vanilla pod
  • 300ml Jersey or clotted cream, or a mixture
  • 5 Burford Brown egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar

For the rhubarb mixture

  • 300-400g rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into small pieces
  • 60g caster sugar

For the crumble topping

  • 30g cold butter, diced
  • 60g plain flour
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 11/2tbsp ground almonds
  • 1tbsp oat flakes

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First make the ice cream: put the milk into a saucepan, split the vanilla pod lengthways with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the milk with the point of the knife, then add the pods as well. Bring the milk to the boil and simmer very gently for a couple of minutes, stirring a couple of times, then remove from the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together (using a hand whisk, not the electric type) then pour the milk on and whisk well. Return to the pan on a low heat and cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk, but don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat, whisk in the cream and remove the vanilla pods.

Leave to cool. This can be speeded up by standing the mixture in some cold water chilled with a frozen ice pack. When it’s cool churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine. Some machines need putting in the freezer first so make sure you’ve done this in time. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6

To make the topping, rub the butter into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture has a breadcrumb-like consistency. Mix in the sugar, almonds and oats. Spread the crumble on to a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden, then leave to cool.

Meanwhile put the rhubarb in a heavy-based saucepan with the sugar and cook on a low heat with a lid on for 6-7 minutes, stirring every so often until the rhubarb is just cooked but not disintegrated. Drain off the juice into a small saucepan and simmer until it’s thick and syrupy then mix with the rhubarb and leave to cool.

When the ice cream has almost set, stir in the rhubarb and the crumble mixture. You can add the mixture to the machine, or remove the ice cream, and pour it into a freezable container then stir in the crumble and leave it in the freezer to set for a couple hours before serving.