Frugal Feasts

Rhubarb and Ginger Creme Brulee

Rhubarb & Ginger Crème Brulée

This is grown-up rhubarb and custard with an extra zing of ginger. My husband used to hate custard (school stuff really shouldn't be called custard), but this recipe has changed all that. I've practised making custard a lot for this dish and think I've discovered the holy grail (holy ramekin?). I don't have the patience for standing there stirring a pan of never thickening (and then suddenly curdling into scrambled egg) sauce, so this goes into the oven and saves all that angst.

Serves 6

  • 3 stalks deep pink rhubarb
  • 3-4 chunks stem ginger (I used the stuff in a jar of syrup, minced/grated)
  • approx. 60g caster sugar (20g for the custard, 30g for the rhubarb mixture)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 300ml double cream
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp good vanilla essence
  • demerara sugar - enough to sprinkle onto each ramekin
  • Optional equipment: one blow torch (or use the grill)
  1. Pre-heat oven to gas 4 / 150C
  2. Wash and chop the rhubarb and place in a pan with the sugar. Stew gently until the rhubarb 'mushes' slightly (7 mins or so), then add the minced ginger (add more sugar if you like it sweet). Divide between the ramekins so there's a thin layer on the bottom of each.
  3. Bring the cream up to simmering point in a pan and beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar in another bowl. Take off the heat and gradually add it to the egg mixture, stirring carefully.
  4. Divide this mixture between the rhubarb lined ramekins and bake in (a Bain Marie - place the ramekins in a shallow dish with water in) the oven for 30 mins until the custard is set.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool, then refrigerate until required (can be made the day before).
  6. Just before serving sprinkle approx. a dessertspoonful of demerara sugar on the top of each crème brulée and caramelise by placing them under a hot grill for a few minutes (watch them carefully), or for more control (and more fun) use a blow torch to melt and caramelise the sugar - it needs to bubble and burn ever so slightly for the classic crunchy topping.
  • recipes Jo Arnell
  • pictures David Merewether

To see more of Jo's seasonal cakes and recipes, visit www.hornbrookmanor.co.uk and search under 'Seasonal Tips and Recipes'