Forced Rhubarb and stem ginger crème brûlée

Even though Rhubarb is generally a summer fruit, January brings us forced rhubarb. If you’re a fan like me this is great news for those classic rhubarb crumbles, pies & fools or even a lovely crème brulee as in the recipe below. If you like satsumas & clementine’s, make the most of it this month.

If you love a bit of luxury in your life this is the last chance for fresh British truffle until August. Simply shave onto your mushroom risotto to make it unbeatable. Salsify takes a little work to prepare, but with its subtle artichoke flavour is a must to try. Excellent with fish, game or lamb.

After eating all that rich Christmas food what is wrong with that classic fish & chips? Made with freshly caught fish. Cod should be plentiful & delicious through the winter months. If you like game make the most of it this month pheasant is excellent pot roasted with chorizo & butter beans or a simple roast Partridge with parsnip puree. You only have until the 1st February


For the poached rhubarb

For the custard

For the rhubarb crisps

For the topping


1. Preheat oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3.

2. For the poached rhubarb, mix the ingredients together in a saucepan. Boil the mixture until the rhubarb has broken up and most of the liquid has evaporated.

3. Meanwhile, make the custard. Mix the cream and crème fraîche in a pan and heat until warm. Mix the egg yolks and ginger syrup together in a bowl. Pour in the warmed cream and return the mixture to the pan to warm.

4. Divide the poached rhubarb between 6 large ramekins then sprinkle half of the stem ginger on top and fill each ramekin with the custard mixture.

5. Boil some water. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin, fill the tin with boiling water so the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the custard is set but still has a slight wobble.

6. When cooked, place the ramekins in the refrigerator to cool completely (this will take a few hours, but if you are short of time they can be cooled on a baking tray in the freezer).

7. For the rhubarb crisps, preheat the oven to 120C/100C Fan/Gas ½.

8. Put the caster sugar and 75ml/2½fl oz water in a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Poach the rhubarb strips in this syrup for 30 seconds. Remove and arrange on a silicon mat on a baking tray. Dry out in the oven for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. Set aside to cool.

9. For the topping, preheat the grill to maximum temperature. Top the ramekins with the demerara sugar and place under the grill until the sugar caramelizes, alternatively use a chef’s blowtorch. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped stem ginger and the rhubarb crisps. Serve immediately.

15th January 2017
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