On the way back from Edinburgh I stopped in the very picturesque town of Kirby Lonsdale for a quick bite to eat at the tremendous Highwayman Inn (the warm Flookburgh shrimps with mace butter were the stuff of a madman’s dream). I stopped in at the local butchers, Dales for some of their famous pork and caramel sausages, unfortunately they were fresh out. However they did have some lovely young and tender forced rhubarb which I snaffled readily. I just finished reading Charles Campions’ “Eat Up!” which is OK – nothing special – but I remembered it had a recipe for Rhubarb and Custard Creams which sounded intriguing.
Anyway, it was tremendous, a worthy addition to anyone’s culinary repertoire. The recipe is as follows:
- 400g rhubarb
- 25g light demerara sugar
- 600ml single cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 egg yolks
- 50g golden caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Take six ramekins. Chop the rhubarb finely and divide between then, sprinkling a little demerara sugar onto each (tip: you will want to adjust this according to how sour your rhubarb is – I would suggest you want the rhubarb not quite sweet).
- To make the topping, pour the cream into a pan. Split the vanilla pod and strip the seeds into the cream, adding the pod as well. Bring to the boil, then turn off the head and allow to infuse as it cools for about 20 minutes.
- Beat the egg yolks and the caster sugar together. Add the cream, removing the vanilla pod and mix throughly. Pour the cream mixture over the rhubarb in the ramekins. Put the ramekins in a roasting tin filled to about 2cm with water and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes – they should be barely set.
- Serve at room temperature
I cooked them for more like 15 minutes and still they were just barely set, with a creme brulee texture in the top third, and a custard consistency in the middle. They were quite delicious like that. I suppose some people might like them completely set but this way adds a bit of luxury and interest. Sorry no pictures but they got eaten too quickly!