This strawberry rhubarb gelato recipe is sweet, slightly tart, and incredibly creamy! It’s a perfect summer recipe that highlights fresh produce and bright flavors. If you’ve never made homemade gelato before, I’m here to show you how easy it is!
The summer of gelato continues with this sweet and tangy strawberry rhubarb gelato. This classic combination lends itself perfectly to gelatos, ice creams, sorbets, pies… you name it. Years ago I shared ice cream and sorbet versions, and this recipe is very similar.
What’s the difference between ice cream and gelato?
If you’re wondering what the difference is between these two frozen desserts, you’re not alone. It’s confusing because they’re almost identical. Basically, gelato uses a higher percentage of whole milk, while ice cream uses more heavy cream, all heavy cream, or equal parts heavy cream and whole milk. Because of this, gelato is a bit more dense, but otherwise they’re basically the same thing.
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- White granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make This Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato Recipe
You want to start by slicing fresh strawberries and rhubarb into smaller pieces.
Place the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan along with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a splash of water (around 2 tablespoons, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is soft and the strawberries have released their juices. You can speed up the process a bit with a potato masher, but it will take around 10 minutes.
Puree the mixture in a blender until very smooth. You can optionally strain it through a fine mesh strainer after blending (I personally don’t find it necessary to strain the mixture, but I’m also using a very high powered blender).
Next, prepare the gelato base. For step-by-step photos, check out my basic gelato recipe. I didn’t include them here to keep the post from being a mile long. After making the gelato base, whisk in the puree.
After the puree and base are combined, you’ll want to press plastic wrap directly against the liquid. This will prevent a skin from forming on top while the base chills in the refrigerator.
The final step is to spin the gelato in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer instructions. It will be more of a soft serve consistency when it first comes out of the machine, so I recommend transferring the gelato to something like a loaf pan so you can continue freezing it. If the mixture is too firm when it comes out of the freezer, just let it sit for 5 minutes or so before scooping.
Keep covered in the freezer to avoid any freezer flavors sneaking into the gelato. It will be best enjoyed within two weeks.
More Gelato Recipes
You can also see my full archive of ice creams, custards and frozen desserts recipes here!
Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato Recipe
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 cups rhubarb, sliced
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the strawberries, rhubarb, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, optionally mashing with a potato masher to help extract juices. The mixture is ready when the rhubarb is soft.
- Cool for 5 minutes, then puree in blender until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth, thick, and pale yellow. This will take around 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk, cream, salt and vanilla until evenly combined.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat. Whisking almost constantly, cook the mixture until an instant-read thermometer reads 170 degrees F, approximately 10 minutes.
- Strain the gelato base through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-size bowl, preferably one with a pouring spout. Whisk in the strawberry rhubarb puree until smooth (note: you can add the puree to the base before straining if you want to ensure a totally smooth gelato, but I think the strawberry seeds and occasional bits of rhubarb add a nice texture).
- Place plastic wrap directly against the surface of the liquid to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until the mixture is very cold, at least 6 hours or up to two days in advance.
- Briefly whisk the mixture, then prepare in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
- Once the gelato has finished spinning, it will likely be a soft serve consistency. Transfer to a loaf pan (or similar sized pan), cover, and freeze until fully frozen but scoopable, up to 2 hours.
- Enjoy within 1-2 weeks for best flavor and texture. If the gelato is too firm to scoop directly out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter or in the refrigerator for 5 minutes before serving.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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