Forced rhubarb typically makes an appearance in January when its delicate pink colour is a welcome sight. It has a distinctive tart flavour too and so is good for this easy to make dessert. It balances the sweet cream which, whilst not technically custard, certainly looks like it and is probably a healthier option than the rhubarb and custard boiled sweets in the picture.
You need to allow for at least 3 hours of chilling time for the puddings to set.
You will also need 4 Champagne coups, cocktail glasses or similar so that you can see the pale pink and yellow layers of the desserts.
225g forced rhubarb stems – remove any leaves and dispose of them safely as they are poisonous and deadly – trim both ends of the stems, wash them well and cut into 2cm chunks
5 tbsp caster sugar
500mls double cream
6 tbsp caster sugar
Put the prepared rhubarb in a *pan and sprinkle with the 5 tbsp of sugar. Set the pan over low heat and let the rhubarb cook gently, stirring it from time to time, until the sugar has dissolved, and the rhubarb is tender – about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool while you deal with the cream.
In a separate pan, heat the cream and the 6 tbsp of sugar together over gentle heat, stirring from time to time until the sugar has dissolved, and the cream turns to a pale-yellow “custard” and it is starting to bubble. Don’t let it boil over. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
To assemble the dessert, divide the rhubarb between 4 glasses (see above) and then cover each pile of rhubarb with the cream. Let the desserts cool at room temperature and then put them in the fridge to chill completely (at least 3 hours) before eating.
*Since Rhubarb is acidic, don’t use an aluminium pan as it is likely to react badly. Instead use an enamel or stainless-steel pan.