Ricotta Rhubarb Ice Cream + Lemon Zest Waffle Cones

Whenever I’m unburdened by necessity, I find being at the grocery store strangely therapeutic. Yeah, I get that it’s not a normal feeling. What I mean is that when I don’t have a snaking list of necessities to guide my movement through the store in a rushed and aggravated manner, I enjoy meditating on the way each section is organized. Sometimes I zone out and just read the price tags, trying distill the essence of each item into a numerical value equal with how many hours someone might have had to work in order to afford it. This usually stresses me out too much by the time I get to cheese, so I move on to just looking for new items or things I don’t usually pay attention to because I’m too frantically trying to find a jar of sun dried tomatoes before my sauce on the stove at home boils over.

Ah, the grocery store. I was plodding through bins of produce at Whole Foods the other day, looking for nothing whatsoever when a small stash of long pink stalks caught my eye. Rhubarb! I checked the sign “Conventional/ Holland; $7.99/lb.” UGH! Are  you serious!? Whatever. I said out loud to nobody. I grabbed 3 stalks and paid. I knew ice cream would be in their future.

Maybe buying off-season international produce is not the most noble use of time, but I figure that I’ll have a lengthy queue uses for rhubarb once the season is in full swing so in terms of making it into ice cream, for me it’s either now or never. Respect?

In other news, I elected to inaugurate my waffle cone maker in the service of the “conventional/ Holland” rhubarb ice cream. I thought the ricotta/ rhubarb combo would pair well with a bit of lemon so I made a simple batter and then zested the hell out of it! Definitely a solid idea.

Back to the ice cream. Because rhubarb is rather bitter, I made a compote by cooking it with sugar and the slightest mixture of sugar and lemon juice. While my compote set aside to cool, I made the ricotta cream base by dissolving sugar in heavy cream over moderate heat, then adding tapioca starch to thicken it up a bit. Some people prefer corn starch, but I went for tapioca in this case because the flavor of corn starch is easy for me to taste in mixtures that don’t flash flamboyant flavors of their own. Along with some vanilla extract, the cream mixture went into the blender with ricotta cheese.

Then the ice cream maker comes in. I poured the mixture in and let it thicken for a few minutes before spooning in the compote. I added the compote while the ice cream was churning because I didn’t want it to sink to the bottom and be lost for all time. Result? It wasn’t!

Ricotta Rhubarb Ice Cream


3 C Chopped Rhubarb (from about ½ lb fresh)

1 C Sugar + ½ C Sugar, divided

¼ C Water

1 T Fresh Lemon Juice

1 C Heavy Cream

1 tsp Tapioca Starch (or cornstarch)

½ C Whole Milk

2 C Ricotta Cheese

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt


In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, dissolve 1 C sugar into the water and lemon juice. Bring mixture to a boil and add rhubarb. Summer rhubarb, stirring occasionally until rhubarb is sweet and tender, and syrup is thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve ½ C sugar into the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Whisk in tapioca starch and continue whisking until dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Combine whole milk, ricotta cheese, vanilla and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. Pour ricotta mixture into a large bowl. Whisk in the cream mixture until fully combined. Refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled. Then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add rhubarb compote in spoonfuls about 5 minutes in to freezing.

Lemon Zest Waffle Cones

Makes about 10

Special Equipment

Waffle Cone Maker

Waffle Cone Wooden Mold


1 C Heavy Cream

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 ½ C All Purpose Flour

1 ½ C Powdered Sugar

1 T Corn Starch

Pinch of Salt

¼ C Whole Milk

Zest and Juice of One Large Lemon


In a large bowl, vigorously whisk heavy cream and vanilla together until cream is slightly thickened. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and cornstarch, and salt until well combined. Carefully stir flour mixture into heavy cream in two additions, adding the milk, lemon juice, and zest in between. Batter should be thick and sticky. Spoon dough, one cone’s worth at a time onto heated waffle cone maker (approx 3 tablespoons) and cook until golden according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove from iron and shape around cone mold, holding cone in place until cool, and firm. Repeat with remaining dough.

5 thoughts on “Ricotta Rhubarb Ice Cream + Lemon Zest Waffle Cones

  1. Pingback: Rhubarb Desserts to Savor the Flavors of Spring | Yummly

  2. Pingback: No Place Like Kitchen » Rhubarb Ricotta Honey Ice-Cream

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