As per usual, my stomach has got the better of me. The rhubarb I picked up from the farmers market at the weekend was forced into a fridge shelf with some week old free rhubarb that I’d forgotten about.
The old stuff was sat in a bucket outside a house that I pedalled past on a days mountain biking in the Chilterns. There was scribbled note begging people to take it. I assumed the role of benefactor for the sprightly pink stems having a soft spot for food orphans abandoned in a cruel world you see. I hollered a thank you and was off, but not before the house owner legged it out offering me more than I could carry. Poor guys.
So after a week in the fridge, and feeling like a wretched uncle for ignoring them for so long it was time to try Nigel Slater’s rhubarb custard fool which he posted tips on this week and is in Tender vol. 2.
I roasted them by mistake, which is an option if you like, they took 15 minutes at 200C, by which time the sugary juices were starting to caramelise.
Here’s the gumpf:
I made enough rhubarb for 4 people, the rest will keep in the fridge so you can have seconds the next day.
400g rhubarb cut into cork sized chunks
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
The fool part is enough for 2 people, I kept the leftovers in the fridge.
110ml double cream
125ml custard (shop bought or homemade)
Roast the rhubarb at 200C for about 15 minutes, when it should be soft but still together. You don’t want it to collapse into strings, although it will certainly still be useable.
Pour the syrupy juices from the tin into a small dish, cool & then refrigerate.
Next, whip the cream lightly, so that it’s thick. Yesterday I whipped too hard and it went lumpy when mixed with the custard. You want it to be at the stage that you can draw shapes that slowly sink back into the body of the cream. I pulsed my electric hand whisk when it started getting thick and got it right tonight.
Stir the custard in gently. Then add the drained fruit and fold gently, serve into glasses or dishes and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Pour over a little of the syrup before serving.
Mrs Fly found the rhubarb too sharp, so I mixed her rhubarb with a few teaspoons of maple syrup. It was gone faster than my serving.