The Nation's Health + [recipe]

Rhubarb Ice Cream Cupcakes

There is nothing better in summer than rhubarb for dessert... or at least anyone would be hard pressed to convince me of anything else. Rhubarb is delightfully tart with only a hint of sweetness from whatever it is cooked with... sugar, honey, other sweet fruit, etc. One of my all time favorite rhubarb desserts is THIS rhubarb dessert - I've been eating since before I can remember made by my grandma, mom, and now me. :)

So... when given the chance to pick a last ice cream to make with my friend David G, naturally I picked rhubarb. Especially since it would be paired with some golden colored cupcakes. How everything played out - I made the rhubarb sauce and cupcakes, while David made the ice cream (and rhubarb sauce combined in at the end). Maybe some day I'll have to learn to make the ice cream base, but it's so much easier when someone else can do it. Ok, enough yapping, now to the good part.

Rhubarb Ice Cream Cupcake (Sandwiches)

Sauce (I am a "dump" cook, sorry!):

6-8 medium stalks of of rhubarb, chopped (redder the better)
1/2 c sugar
3/4 - 1 c strawberries (sliced)
1 tsp cornstarch

In a large pot, combine rhubarb, sugar, and strawberries. Bring to a simmer - no need to add any liquid, the rhubarb stalk is largely water that will be released as it softens. Once a sauce has been formed with no crisp pieces of rhubarb, remove 1/2 c sauce to a small bowl and mix in cornstarch to that bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Add rhubarb with cornstarch back to pot and cook until sauce has thickened to desired consistency. Set aside to cool and then store in refrigerator until use.
*If not using strawberries, more sugar may need to be added - strawberries help add sweetness.

Ice Cream recipe from Jeni's Ice Cream
*Vanilla Bean Ice Cream was used for the base.
At the point of freezing the ice cream (while in the ice cream maker) towards the very end add in the rhubarb sauce to be incorporated. Put in a container and freeze until nice and solid.

Cupcakes:
One box of yellow butter cake mix (yep, I used a box)
One box vanilla pudding mix
Prepare cake as instructed on box with added dry pudding mix. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Ice cream can be made a day or two ahead of time and set out to soften before filling cupcakes.
Once cupcakes are cooled, unwrap paper and cut cupcakes in half. Fill each cupcake with nice sized scoop of delicious rhubarb ice cream, slightly less than 1/4 c. Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften before eating.

Enjoy!!! There will be leftover ice cream for later snacking in the refrigerator.