NEIL'S RECIPES: CHILLED CUSTARD RHUBARB CRUMBLE

by Cafe St Honoré in


For us chefs and cooks who rely on seasonality, it's a joy to see the vibrant pink stalks at the markets after a winter of apples and stored pears. You might not know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable, which was first grown in the UK in the 18th Century at Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens. 

Makes 4 portions 

INGREDIENTS

Crumble

125g unsalted soft butter

65g caster sugar

150g plain flour

40g corn flour

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.

  2. Sift the flour and corn flour into the mix, combine until a dough forms.

  3. Tear the dough into small pieces and arrange evenly on a greaseproof-paper-lined tray.

  4. Cook at 150°c until golden (about 40 minutes), breaking up with a fork during cooking.

  5. Allow to cool.

Rhubarb

250g new-season forced Yorkshire rhubarb, cut into roughly 4-inch batons

150g caster sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

1 vanilla pod, slit and seeds scraped out

  1. Lay the rhubarb onto an oven tray or dish. Sprinkle over the caster sugar, lemon zest and smear on the seeds of vanilla - they can be a bit sticky.

  2. Cook in a moderate oven (about 180°c) for 15 to 20 minutes until just soft. Be aware that it can overcook and turn to mush quickly.

  3. Allow to cool.

Custard

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped

9 egg yolks

70g caster sugar

600ml double cream 

METHOD

Bring the cream and vanilla to the boil in a thick-bottomed pan. Then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes to allowing the cream to take on the flavour of vanilla.

Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale.

Pour the cooled cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring all the time. Return to a clean pan and place on a medium heat stirring continuously with a whisk or a wooden spoon. Continue until it reaches 86°c. This will ensure the eggs cook and it thickens.

Strain through a fine sieve.

Allow to cool.

To assemble

In your serving glasses or bowls, layer the custard and rhubarb. Top with the crumble mix and a couple of pieces of rhubarb.