Recipe: baked rhubarb and custard
PUBLISHED: 16:22 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:22 20 February 2017
The chef-patron of award-winning restaurant Chapter One suggests you treat your Mum to a home-cooked pudding on Mothering Sunday. Words by: Andy McLeish. Picture by: Ming-Tang Evans
This month I’d like to pay homage to all the wonderful mums across the country. I know us fathers are secretly resentful that our annual ‘celebratory day’ seems a little insignificant in comparison to Mothering Sunday, but in all fairness, I think we can all admit it’s so deserved.
My mum was the reason I wanted to become a chef. It actually happened by accident. One Christmas she was too ill to make our Christmas lunch, so not wanting our favourite day to be ruined, my brother and I decided to save it by cooking the turkey, roast potatoes and vegetables ourselves.
I cannot remember if the meal tasted any good or not but the smile on my mum’s face when we wheeled the food in on my skateboard into her room was priceless.
I’ll never forget that feeling of pride our food brought that day. Honestly, that feeling is quite addictive and it’s why I still cook with that same passion after all these years. I absolutely love it when I get the chance to walk in the dining room in Chapter One and see my customers laughing, engaging, sharing food across the table. A simple meal has the power to pull people together.
With that in mind, I’d like to encourage all my column readers to do something personal for your mum this Mothering Sunday. A scented candle can wait until next year; I promise you the memory of a beautiful lunch or dinner will last much longer.
I have a perfect recipe that your mum will love and is a personal favourite of mine: baked rhubarb and custard.
The forced rhubarb from Yorkshire is in the middle of its season. It is grown in complete darkness and is harvested by candle light to avoid photosynthesis turning them green and tough. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Baked rhubarb and custard
To make the pastry
150g diced chilled butter
250g plain flour
Zest of one lemon
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp milk
Rub the butter into the flour with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, egg and milk and bring together to form a dough. This can be made in advance and frozen if required.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out and use it to line a 20cm tart tin, leave 2cm of pastry hanging over the edge. Chill for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 180ºC. Line the case with clingfilm, fill with baking beans and fold the clingfilm over the top, bake blind for 20 mins, then remove the beans by lifting out the clingfilm and continue to cook for a further 20 mins until the base is golden. Remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 140ºC.
To make the tart
500g peeled Yorkshire rhubarb
Bring to the boil and leave to cool. Cut the rhubarb into finger lengths and poach them in a sugar stock until soft. Remove from the stock and drain well patting them dry with a clean cloth and set aside.
For the custard mix
600g double cream
2 vanilla pods split
Whole nutmeg to grate
135g egg yolk
Bring the cream, vanilla pod, and a small grating of nutmeg to the boil. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, then pour the hot cream over, beating as you go. Strain custard into a jug, allow to settle for a few minutes, then skim off any froth.
Place a thin layer of rhubarb in the bottom of the tart ring. Carefully pour the custard into the tart case. Generously grate some more nutmeg over the top and bake for 40 minutes or until just set with the very slightest wobble in the middle.
Remove from the oven, trim the pastry edges off carefully, then leave to cool completely before serving in slices.