Saturday, 5 May 2012

Rhubarb and custard...

A classic combination with which you just can't go wrong...

What can I say, the first rhubarb of the season in now in the shops and I've treated myself to some. I say treated myself as, yet again, I've had to get over my annual fright about the price. I just can't help but think of the rhubarb which grew for free in my parents garden (along with the gooseberries, raspberries, plums, redcurrants and blackcurrants all of which seem hideously expensive to buy).

Anyway, rant over.

Rhubarb - the easiest way to cook rhubarb is to simply stew it. Take your rhubarb and chop it up into 1 inch lengths and add to a saucepan along with some sugar and a couple of tablespoons of water. I also tend to add some apple which has been chopped up fairly small (roughly 1cm) cubes. Put this over a very low heat and leave for an hour or so stirring occasionally. Taste towards the end and add more sugar if you want it sweeter. Rhubarb without any sugar tends to be very tart, but, if you like it that way you can omit the sugar completely.

Rhubarb stew ingredients:
Rhubarb - 1 inch lengths
Sugar (to taste)
Splash of water (or apple brandy if you want a hint of booze)
chopped apple (optional)

Custard - why does anyone use ready made custard? Seriously. Custard is easy to make and freshly made custard is so much nicer and takes about the same amount of time.

100-200mls per person (depending on how much custard you want). I tend to use full fat milk as I always have it in the fridge but you can substitute some milk for cream if you want a richer custard. Put this milk in a pan and start to gently heat it up.

In a separate bowl have some egg yolks (1 yolk per 100 mls) and caster sugar (1/2 table spoon per 100mls) which have been mixed together. When the milk is just short of boiling take it off the heat and pour some of the milk into the bowl with the egg sugar mix. Mix it well and pour back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.

Back on a low heat and keep stirring. I then add some plain flour to thicken it a bit more (about a teaspoon per 100mls). Add this gradually while stirring well or it will be lumpy and keep stirring until you take the custard off the heat and serve.

Want a really decadent custard then add some vanilla to the milk also...

Custard ingredients:
Milk/cream - as much as is needed
Egg yolks - 1 per 100mls
Caster sugar - 1/2 tablespoon per 100mls
Plain flour - ~ teaspoon per 100mls (remember thickness is a personal preference, I generally like a custard that has been thickened a bit but which still pours easily)
Vanilla (fresh or essence) to taste


  1. Hello Alastair
    I think your blog is fantastic and a great way to have variety in a blog. Are you on a walking forum? This is where I hang out

  2. Hi Alastair (also a fellow walking forumer) this post made me smile, I had to put a tray of my allotment rhubarb outside my house with a free notice on it this evening - I have so much I haven't got time to do anything with it! Going to make something with it on Sunday though I think

    1. Thanks - should I put in an order for some rhubarb?