Rhubarb is one of those ingredients that people either adore or avoid. I fall into the former, and use it as much as possible during its rather short growing season. I've made it into crisps, pies and even eaten it raw, dipped in sugar (which is admittedly hard core). Combining the mouth puckering sour flavor of rhubarb with a creamy honey ice cream base may just be the perfect marriage. I think this is going to turn even the most ardent rhubarb haters into its biggest fans. For those of you who just can't get enough of it, spoon extra ruby-red rhubarb sauce over the top.
To make the Honey Ice Cream Base: Heat the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. The longer you let this mixture sit, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be. I often bring the mixture to a simmer, turn off the heat and let it steep for an hour or so. Before you continue with the recipe, you will need to bring it back to a simmer.
Whisk together the yolks in a medium sized bowl. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk a small amount of the cream into the egg mixture. Add enough cream to warm the eggs.
Once the eggs are warm, add them back into the pot of remaining cream.
Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the custard over low heat. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken.
When the custard seems to be getting thicker, lift the rubber spatula and run your finger through it. It is done when the custard clings to the spatula.
Pass the custard through a fine mesh strainer, into a shallow dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and immediately place in the refrigerator.
Allow the custard to "ripen" for 6 to 12 hours for the best result. If you are in a rush, at least make sure the custard is thoroughly chilled. As you can see the custard will be quite thick once it has chilled.
To make the rhubarb: Clean the rhubarb and cut it into 1-inch pieces.
Place the rhubarb and sugar into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water. Cook over low heat and stir gently, until the rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes.
Taste the rhubarb to see if it is sweet enough for your taste. I like to keep it as tart as possible, but others like it a touch sweeter. Transfer the rhubarb to a container and refrigerate until very cold.
Add half of the rhubarb to the honey ice cream base. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Warm the remaining rhubarb sauce and spoon over the ice cream.