Good old rhubarb & custard with the best crumbly shortbread

rhubarb and custard with shortbread

Serves 6

  • For the rhubarb

  • 800 g rhubarb, washed and cut into 8cm pieces

  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar

  • zest and juice of 2 oranges

  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • For the custard

  • 500 ml organic semi-skimmed milk

  • 568 ml single cream

  • 5 tablespoons caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds scraped out

  • 8 free-range egg yolks

  • For the crumbly shortbread

  • 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

  • 125 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

  • 250 g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

  • 125 g semolina or cornflour

To cook the rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Place the rhubarb pieces in an ovenproof dish or tray and sprinkle over the sugar, orange zest and juice, grated ginger and balsamic vinegar. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rhubarb has softened. Have a taste and add more sugar if it is too tart for you. Pop the foil back on top to keep the rhubarb warm while you make the custard.



To make the custard, mix the milk, cream, 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and the vanilla pod and seeds together in a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave for a couple of minutes to cool slightly and allow the vanilla flavour to infuse. Discard the vanilla pod.



In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the 2 remaining tablespoons of caster sugar until pale. Ladle a little of the hot milk mixture onto the eggs and whisk immediately. Continue to add the milk, a ladleful at a time, whisking each well before adding the next. Pour this mixture back into the warm saucepan and cook very gently for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The eggs should cook just enough to thicken the custard, but not enough for it to scramble. If you start to see flecks or lumps of egg in your custard, don't panic – just take it straight off the heat and pour into a cold saucepan to cool it down then strain through a sieve into a clean jug. Serve the rhubarb at the table with a good drizzle of your warm delicious custard.



To make the crumbly shortbread, preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/gas 2. Butter a 24cm square baking tin. Cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk or wooden spoon, until pale, light and fluffy. Add the plain flour and semolina or cornflour. Mix lightly with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to knead it into a smooth dough.



Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out so it's about 2cm thick all over and big enough for the baking tin. Transfer the dough to the tin, poking it into the corners with your fingers (it doesn't have to be perfect). Prick all over with a fork, then pop it in the oven for 50 minutes, until lightly golden on top.



Remove the shortbread from the oven and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Let it cool slightly in the tin, then cut it into 12 chunky, finger-sized pieces and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Good old rhubarb & custard with the best crumbly shortbread

With proper homemade custard

More Vegetarian recipes >
0 foodies cooked this
I get so excited about British rhubarb, and so will you when you try this rhubarb and custard recipe
Serves 6
1h
Not too tricky
Method

Proper custard adds so much to rhubarb, turning it into such a beautiful treat. Just make sure you pour it out in front of everyone, so they can see the gorgeous marbling effect. I've used balsamic vinegar to flavour my rhubarb, which you might think a bit bonkers, but it adds a really interesting layer of sticky sweetness. Give it a go!

To cook the rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Place the rhubarb pieces in an ovenproof dish or tray and sprinkle over the sugar, orange zest and juice, grated ginger and balsamic vinegar. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rhubarb has softened. Have a taste and add more sugar if it is too tart for you. Pop the foil back on top to keep the rhubarb warm while you make the custard.

To make the custard, mix the milk, cream, 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and the vanilla pod and seeds together in a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave for a couple of minutes to cool slightly and allow the vanilla flavour to infuse. Discard the vanilla pod.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the 2 remaining tablespoons of caster sugar until pale. Ladle a little of the hot milk mixture onto the eggs and whisk immediately. Continue to add the milk, a ladleful at a time, whisking each well before adding the next. Pour this mixture back into the warm saucepan and cook very gently for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The eggs should cook just enough to thicken the custard, but not enough for it to scramble. If you start to see flecks or lumps of egg in your custard, don't panic – just take it straight off the heat and pour into a cold saucepan to cool it down then strain through a sieve into a clean jug. Serve the rhubarb at the table with a good drizzle of your warm delicious custard.

To make the crumbly shortbread, preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/gas 2. Butter a 24cm square baking tin. Cream the butter and sugar together with a whisk or wooden spoon, until pale, light and fluffy. Add the plain flour and semolina or cornflour. Mix lightly with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to knead it into a smooth dough.

Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out so it's about 2cm thick all over and big enough for the baking tin. Transfer the dough to the tin, poking it into the corners with your fingers (it doesn't have to be perfect). Prick all over with a fork, then pop it in the oven for 50 minutes, until lightly golden on top.

Remove the shortbread from the oven and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Let it cool slightly in the tin, then cut it into 12 chunky, finger-sized pieces and enjoy!

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 1036
    52%
  • Carbs 100.6g
    39%
  • Sugar 53.0g 59%
  • Fat 62.1g 89%
  • Saturates 37.0g 185%
  • Protein 16.5g 37%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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