I mentioned last week that I had to attack my rhubarb. It had grown so large that our neighbour’s house was in a permanent state of darkness. Think of that Simpsons episode where Mr Burns blocks out the sun. Yeah, it was getting a bit like that.
As a result of my horticultural activities, I now have a freezer full of rhubarb stalks. Please don’t ask me why I kept so many stalks. Rhubarb is a perennial, and it grows abundantly in my garden, so the simple motivation for my rhubarb retention must be firmly based in the land of hoard. Who knows, there may be a world-wide rhubarb shortage sometime soon, and who’ll be laughing then? Bwha-ha-ha…
The recipe I have for you today uses a little of my rhubarb. It also uses some apple, eggs, milk, and sugar, and not a lot more. There are a few different processes involved, but it essentially a simple dessert, and one that I could eat until the cows come home. Or until my mammoth rhubarb causes my neighbours further Vitamin D deficiency (which is good, ‘cause that won’t take long).
This recipe was inspired by the March Sweet Adventures Blog Hop: Layer Upon Layer. I considered tackling some of the gorgeous crepe cakes I’ve seen in my blogland travels, but settled on a twist to my Apple & Rhubarb Crumble Pie recipe, using a crumble layer, and apple and rhubarb layer, and adding a layer of deliciously wobbly baked custard. Enjoy.
To make this recipe you'll need 4 ramekins and a baking dish large enough to fit them, and hold enough water to half cover the ramekins, like this.
- 1 ¾ cup full cream milk
- 2 large eggs + 1 yolk, at room temperature
- ½ cup raw caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Rhubarb & Apple Puree
- 200g rhubarb stalks
- 1 large green apple (yielding 150g once peeled and cored)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp raw caster sugar
- 25g butter, cubed
- ¼ cup plain flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- 25g butter, cubed
Preheat your oven to 160°C.
Prepare the ramekins by placing them on top of a folded tea towel in a large baking dish. Pour hottest tap water into the baking dish until halfway up the side of each ramekin. The tea towel on the bottom of the baking dish should prevent the ramekins from slipping, and the water will prevent the custard from cooking too quickly and splitting.
Using a fork, combine the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar in a heat proof bowl. Try to avoid incorporating too much air into the mixture, as you don’t want the custard to be bubbly.
In a small saucepan, bring the milk to scalding point over a medium heat. Don’t let the milk boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Gradually incorporate the milk into the egg mixture. If you use a silicon spatula to mix the two together, you should be able to avoid creating too many bubbles. Strain the mixture into a pouring jug. Pour the custard into each ramekin, being careful to divide equally. Using a measured pouring jug will make this easier.
Very carefully transfer the baking tray and ramekins to your oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and take the ramekins out of the baking tray and set aside.
Rhubarb & Apple Puree
Slice the rhubarb into rough ½ cm slices. Peel and core the apple, then roughly slice. Place the rhubarb, apple, lemon juice, butter, and sugar into a clean saucepan with a lid, and bring to a simmer over a medium high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer with the lid on for approximately 7 minutes, until the rhubarb and apple break down. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before pureeing in a food processor.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the puree into each ramekin, over the top of the baked custard. Smooth out to form an even layer.
Preheat your grill to a medium heat.
Combine all ingredients for the crumble in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the mixture to form a crumb. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the crumble mixture into each ramekin, over the top of the rhubarb puree.
Place under a medium grill and heat for 8-10 minutes, until the crumble is golden. Serve immediately.