Rhubarb and custard brûlée
Ingredients (serves four)
- 440g rhubarb, cut into 10mm pieces
- 200ml water
- 100g caster sugar
- 2g ginger powder
- grated zest of ½ orange
- 100g ginger nut biscuits, crushed
- 25g unsalted butter, melted
- Crème brûlée mixture
- 425ml double cream
- 100ml whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 free range egg yolks
- 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra for the topping
- 200g caster sugar
- 450ml water
- 1 bunch of fresh mint
- To make the rhubarb compote, combine the five ingredients in a large sauce pan. Bring to a simmer until a thick jammy consistency is formed, then transfer to a container and chill until needed.
- To produce the mint syrup, combine the sugar, water and half of the mint (stalks as well) in a pan; bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer until reduced by half. Strain the syrup through a sieve to remove the mint. Leave to cool and then using a food processor, blend with the remaining mint leaves until a green emulsion has formed.
- To prepare the base, combine the crushed ginger nut biscuits and the melted butter.
- Before constructing the crème brûlée, lightly grease four rings (75mm diameter by 40mm depth) with vegetable oil and place onto a tray. Press equal amounts of the biscuit base into the rings to a depth of 3mm and then chill for ten minutes.
- When biscuit base has firmed, spoon equal amounts of the rhubarb compote onto the biscuit base to a depth of 5mm – 10mm and then return to the fridge.
- To prepare the crème brûlée mixture, split the vanilla pod length ways then remove the seeds. Combine the double cream and the whole milk in a pan, adding the vanilla seeds and pod; bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (ensure bowl is not touching the water) and whisk thoroughly until the mixture begins to slightly thicken. While the vanilla infused cream is still warm, add the yolk mixture and place back on a moderate heat. Whisk until mixture begins to thicken, being careful not to overcook as the egg will scramble. When the mixture has begun to thicken, take off the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a jug.
- Pour the crème brûlée mixture into the rings leaving a 2mm gap at the top and immediately place in the fridge to set overnight, or freeze.
- When ready to serve, place the brûlée ring onto a serving plate. Lightly sprinkle the top with caster sugar and caramelise the tops using a blow torch; this will also help release the crème brûlée from the ring.
- Dress the plate with the remaining rhubarb compote and the mint syrup.