Rhubarb Fest: Sorbet

May 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm 7 comments

Rhubarb and Sorbet

It’s been interesting, picking recipes for this Rhubarb Fest.  There’s bushel loads of recipes for strawberry rhubarb this and strawberry rhubarb that.  The rhubarb always seems to be thrown in just because, well, maybe people were getting tired of just plain strawberry or they were a little intimidated with rhubarb standing on its own ruby red feet, er, stalks.  Do you know what I mean? 


Truth be told, while I really do love those juicy berries, if I had to pick between having rhubarb or strawberries for a summer, I’d pick the rhubarb.  It’s no doubt in large part for the memories it drums up of my grandmother’s big old patch in her garden, though there were plenty of strawberries in that garden too.  I also really enjoy the tart ting and pink blush rhubarb brings to every dish it enters.   But not everyone does, as demonstrated by D’s latest remark, something along the lines of it tasting medicinal. 

Dishing it out

But wait!  Lest you stop reading right there, let me assure you that this Spiced Rhubarb Sorbet is the best kind of medicine – delicious, mysteriously creamy (though not a drop of cream went into it), low in fat, and the perfect pick-me-up after one has spent a hot morning power washing the deck, among other things.  Don’t let the Pepto-Bismol pink put you off.  That’s where the resemblance to medicine ends, I promise. 

Spiced Rhubarb Sorbet

The notes of the spices play delicately and quietly next to the powerful crescendo of rhubarb in every bite.  This is not a sorbet for the rhubarb skeptic, that’s for sure.  I personally can’t stop eating it; the taste and texture are just downright addictive.  But, should you be not quite the Number One Fan of rhubarb (sorry, that coveted titled is already taken by yours truly anyway), I’m absolutely certain substituting strawberries for half of the rhubarb and cutting back the sugar to just a cup would yield a seriously scrumptious sorbet too. 

Spiced Rhubarb Sorbet

Spiced Rhubarb Sorbet
A Straight from the Farm Original

2 C. water
1 1/3 C. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 C. diced rhubarb
1 egg white (optional)
1 T. vodka  (optional)

Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise, and scraped vanilla beans and pod in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove the spices from the saucepan. Add the diced rhubarb and bring to a boil once again. Cook until rhubarb is soft, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly and puree in blender. Work the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the rhubarb fibers.

Chill over an ice bath in the fridge until very cold. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl before adding to the rhubarb mixture. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer directions. Add the vodka just before stopping the churning (vodka helps keep the sorbet from crystalizing in the freezer).

Transfer to a container with a sealable lid and place in the freezer until set up, about 4 to 6 hours.

(makes about 1 quart)


Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats.

Let the Festivities Begin! Angel Food Cake & Rhubarb Fool

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. wes  |  May 31, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I was wondering what effect the vodka had. Another rhubarb recipe to add to my collection. I can’t wait for next year to try some of them out.

  • 2. giniann  |  May 31, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    The pink color is very tempting. Vodka sounds good. I just read about a margarita icecream.

  • 3. k  |  June 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Ooo! I now have to invest in an icecream maker! Great tip about the vodka – I was thinking how great this would taste and then what a great recipe this would be for black raspberry, black berry or blueberry/lemon sorbet. You always inspire me!

    I also called home and got my dad’s recipe for Suzy Pudding to pass on to you – it is how I grew up eating Rhubarb. When I was a very small child 3 or 4 I remember pulling stalks out of out the garden, wiping it off on the front of whatever I was wearing and munching happily away. I tried that as an adult and it was an hour before my eyes stopped watering and my jaw unclenched!

    Suzy Pudding

    1 egg
    1 ½ C Sugar
    2 T Shortening
    ¼ C Milk
    1 C Flour
    3 ½ t baking powder
    ½ t salt

    Grease pan – pour batter into pan. There are no measurements for the pan – we always used a rectangular pyrex casserole pan – may be 13 x 9.

    Cover mixture with 3 C Rhubarb
    1 C Sugar sprinkled over rhubarb
    Pour 2 C boiling water over everything. (Water must be boiling)

    Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven – start checking at 25 min – cake will rise thru rhubarb and turn golden brown when done – 25 to 45 min depending on oven

    If you use Bisquick instead of flour – leave out shortening & baking powder

    • 4. Jennie  |  June 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm

      Oooooo, this recipe sounds fantastic! I’ll definitely be giving it a try. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

      ps – it’s nice to “see” you around the blog again. 🙂

  • 5. ziabaki  |  June 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Yummy! I am going to make this soon, probably right now….Hunmmm, got some fresh rhubarb…..Thank you so much for this great post. BTW Beautiful pictures!

  • 6. Katharina  |  June 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Now that I’m 21 I can buy myself the Vodka for this delicious looking recipe! I wonder how Stoli’s Vanilla would taste? Umm.. probably yummmmmy!

    • 7. Jennie  |  June 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm

      Actually, that’s the kind I used so I can vouch for it being a perfect fit! 🙂 Enjoy your new legal status!


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