A month after wandering the lofty halls of Eastern Market, it’s the people that I remember above the food, mouthwatering though it all was. (Although, of course, I do still dream about the carrot cake from Avalon International Breads.)
I remember the persistent, lighthearted hustle of the salesmen at Mrs. Pruitt’s Cha Cha Salsa; our warm conversation with the proprietor of Sweet Potato Sensations; and the sweet, soft-spoken kids of Grown in Detroit, who’d been learning how to tend a vegetable garden, and how to sell the produce they’d grown.
Upon returning to Chicago, we preserved the memory of our Eastern Market trip in the sweetest vehicle possible: ice cream. In doing so, I obtained proof for my theory that the sweet tanginess of sugared-up rhubarb would couple nicely with the rich tanginess of goat cheese. Once cooked, the vibrant red stalks we picked out in Michigan faded to a gorgeous pink swirl, which I managed to immortalize in a couple of snapshots—pictures that, at this point, serve as the only evidence this quart of ice cream ever existed.
Cameras: Fuji X100, Canon 6D
Makes 1 quart
Ice cream adapted from David Lebovitz and Food52, rhubarb swirl from Melissa Clark
Goat Cheese Ice Cream
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1 cup whole milk
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– pinch of salt
– 5 egg yolks
– 6 oz. goat cheese
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 3/4 pound rhubarb, diced
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla
Goat Cheese Custard
1) Before you begin, set the goat cheese in the bottom of a medium-sized bowl and pour in the vanilla.
2) Heat the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over low heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
3) Before the cream mixture reaches a boil, whisk some of the warm cream into the egg yolks, then slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking quickly all the while.
4) Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
5) Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer over the goat cheese. Stir until the goat cheese has melted and is fully incorporated into the custard; chill overnight.
6) In a medium saucepan, bring the rhubarb to a simmer along with 1 cup sugar. Cook until the rhubarb is tender and has begun releasing its juices, but is not yet falling apart (about 5-7 minutes).
7) Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a bowl. Continue simmering the juices until syrupy, about 10 minutes more.
8) Pour the syrup over the rhubarb and chill overnight.
9) Freeze the goat cheese custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
10) Layer the ice cream with the chilled rhubarb in an appropriately-sized container (a loaf pan works perfectly), then swirl the rhubarb into the ice cream with a butter knife.
11) Freeze and enjoy!