I’ve worked out that I’ve been cooking my rhubarb for way too long! I do like it mushy though. Isn’t this a vibrant red?
1 bunch of rhubarb
1/4 cup of water
4 Tbsp honey or sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
- Cut the ends and leaves off of the rhubarb. Then cut the stalks into pieces about 3 cm long.
- Place the water, sugar (or honey) and lemon juice on to boil in a pot.
- When boiling, add the rhubarb.
- Cook gently with the lid on until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
Note: SCD and GAPS safe if you use the honey.
Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.
It’s what a crowd of extras will say when they are trying to create a general hubbub on stage. Why rhubarb you might ask? I’ve no idea, but at least it’s easy to remember, and, as it is in season, a perfect complement to this easy vanilla infused custard trifle.
Rhubarb and Custard Trifle
Adapted from “The River Cottage Year” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
100ml orange juice
4 tablespoons of sugar + 100g sugar
400ml whole milk
4 large egg yolks
plain sponge cake
- Wash, trim and cut into 3cm lengths about 400g rhubarb. Put in a pan with the orange juice and 4 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the stalks are tender but still hold their shape. Taste the rhubarb – it should be tart, as the sponge and trifle will sweeten the trifle. But if it is unpalatably sour, add a little more sugar. Strain off about 200ml of the juice. Transfer the remaining rhubarb to a non-metallic dish. Chill both the juice and rhubarb in the fridge.
- Make custard. Put the whole milk in a pan with a split vanilla pod and scald until almost boiling. Beat the egg yolks with 100g sugar and whisk in the hot cream. Return the custard to the pan over a very low heat and stir constantly until it thickens, making a glossy coat on the back of the spoon. Remove the vanilla pod, and scrap off the tiny black specks into the mixture. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl and chill. When cold it should be spoonably thick rather than pourable.
- Take (or make) a simple plain sponge cake. Break it into chunks and press lightly into 4 large wine glasses or dessert dishes. Pour in enough of the chilled rhubarb juice to soak the sponge thoroughly. Then top with a layer of the stewed rhubarb. Now pile in a generous layer of the chilled, thickened custard. Enjoy.
VARIATION – You could, of course, cheat and buy store-bought custard, but just this once try making it from scratch and you may never turn back. Use only fresh free-range eggs.