Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rhubarb Sherbet

It’s unusual for the rhubarb to still be so good this late in the summer, but I’m not complaining. Rhubarb really is one of those season sensitive foods, and there are so few of them left. You can eat food by their natural season, but it seems you have to make an effort now. So many foods are flown in from wherever, grown in greenhouses throughout the year, or are available frozen or canned. But rhubarb isn’t. You can only get rhubarb if it’s growing in your yard, in the yard of someone you know, or at farmer’s market stands. I pick mine up at Baleman’s in the City Market two blocks up the street. The dead brown leaves are still attached at the bottom. Jim will break the stalks in half for you so you can carry them home comfortably.

It’s really hot now (for Saint John), and my mind is focussed on cold food. Here’s something I cribbed together out of stewed rhubarb and the mango sherbet recipe. It’s sweet and tart, and a pretty light pink rose colour. I’ve been eating it straight, but I think it would be good with a spicy dessert cake like gingerbread or tomato spice cake.

Rhubarb Sherbet
¾ C fresh rhubarb, cut into small chunks
¼ C sugar, or to taste (probably a bit more if you are using late, or thick rhubarb)
2 whole cloves
Zest, juice and some pulp of one orange, or lemon
dash of nutmeg
½ C yogourt

1. Cook the rhubarb, sugar, cloves and orange zest, juice and pulp in a small saucepan.
2. Cook over low heat until the rhubarb has broken down, about 10 minutes.
3. Taste and add honey or sugar if required.
4. Chill thoroughly.
5. Remove the cloves and blend to a smooth puree.
6. Add a dash of nutmeg and the yogourt and stir until thoroughly mixed.Freeze in an ice cream maker according to directions. I have a Cuisinart and usually freeze ice creams sherbets for 20 minutes, but this is done in 15 minutes.

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