The Tip Jar #3 - Forced Rhubarb & Custard 3 ways

Ah, March. The last march of winter. Just last week we were walking home on a very warm Thursday afternoon and we decided to pick up some ice creams and enjoy them in our garden (without jumpers on!). This week: bitingly cold winds and... snow? Where have you come from? It's a strange time. The pining for a magical white winter is over. We want warmth. We want light. We want ice creams in the sun. Hey, I want Forced Rhubarb Sours in the sun.

The curious nature of our delightful pink jam keeps me coming back time and time again. It is extraordinarily versatile. A sentence which feels increasingly pertinent each year we make it. But there is beauty in tradition. Doing the classics right. We've always felt this way - we make Strawberry Jam with just strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. We make Raspberry Jam with - you guessed it - raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. We feel no need to complicate something that is exquisite in its simplicity. Our job is to make the fruit shine, with love and dedication.
So, in this instalment of The Tip Jar, I'm sharing my takes on a classic: Rhubarb & Custard - done three ways.
 
  

Does anyone get to Friday and look back on their week thinking, ‘Well we got through that again!'. And I really don’t mean that in a deflating, sad kind of a way but everyone I know is busy, our friends are busy, my sister’s busy, even my retired parents are busy. It’s no surprise that my Instagram feed is full of people purporting to make delicious, nutritious food in 5 minutes. 

Well, a lot of those probably don’t work but it is nice to get a recommendation that isn’t over complicated and brings together some good constituent parts. We often find that we focus on creating some enjoyable family meals at the weekend after days of scrambled eggs, pasta, and soup on repeat, but then run out of energy and ingenuity to have dessert. Much to the disgruntlement of our children. ‘Biscuit, anyone?’. But here are a few ideas for deserts that you can easily assemble and satisfy children with the highest expectations.

Also, THIS is basically all Rhubarb & Custard. There’s a reason it has been cemented into existence with a boiled sweet AND a formative cartoon for my generation. It’s a really good combination.

 

 

First up, Rhubarb & Custard Tart

Here's what you'll need:

Here's how you make it:

  1. Mix equal parts custard and mascarpone in a bowl (I used 150g for Kai & I and our two children).
  2. Add 1tsp of vanilla essence and the zest of 1 orange. 
  3. Spoon your mixture into pastry cases and top with a generous layer of Forced Rhubarb Jam.
  4. Garnish with chopped pistachios and orange zest. Tuck in!

 

Rhubarb Trifle (in a glass!)

Here's how you make it:

  1. Layer the mixed custard and mascarpone into a small glass, followed by the Rhubarb Jam.
  2. Add broken biscuits or crumbled pastry cut offs.
  3. Garnish with chopped pistachios and orange zest. A bit less flashy but just as tasty.

 

The Fridge Clearer (Monday morning breakfast)

Here's what you'll need:

  • Forced Rhubarb Jam
  • Yoghurt/crème fraîche/mascarpone
  • Vanilla essence
  • Orange zest
  • Biscuits

Here's how you make it:

  1. Combine your yoghurt/crème fraîche/ mascarpone (whichever you have in the fridge) with 1tsp vanilla essence and the zest of 1 orange.
  2. Dollop generously into a glass or bowl, followed by equally generous helping of Forced Rhubarb Jam.
  3. Serve with biscuits or just gobble the whole thing down on its own.

 

 Thanks for reading, folks.

Forced Rhubarb is the symbol of this time of year. A light coming out from the dark. Here's to a happy spring. You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming - Pablo Neruda.

 Best wishes, Sky, Kai & the England Preserves team