March 6th, 2010

Rhubarb and Custard Pie Pudding

I can draw inspiration from anywhere. I think it’s perhaps my strongest quality and truly beneficial to my career as a chef. It does not matter to whom I speak  or where I eat or shop I can see potential in each and every occasion. I am always looking  to put my own twist and stamp on a recipe as I have my own style and as we all know food and cooking is completely subjective. What works for me might not always work for others, my photography style is unique to me and the British Larder and so is my cooking and recipes. My aim is not to completely destroy classical recipes but to enhance them to suit my style.

Sadly I missed the Wakefield Festival of food, drink and rhubarb on the 26th and 27th of February however I celebrated in my own style by creating this truly remarkable rhubarb and custard pie pudding.

Rhubarb has become one of my favourites, rather odd this as I could never stand it in the past. I suppose my taste  has developed with age and also I am genuinely  interested in rhubarb as it’s a seasonal classic with loads of potential.

The inspiration for this recipe came from Rafael, a Basque Chef. I would  never have picked his book up to read in normal circumstances, however my colleague was having a bit of a clear out in the kitchen and asked if I was interested in the book. Well I had a flick through and bingo!, Chef Rafael had a basque version of a custard apple pie. I noted down the parts of the recipe I liked and made the rest up to suit my style.

It might seem a long winded process to make this upside down pie, hope you trust me enough to give it a go, it’s truly delicious. The pastry and custard both contain a drop of spiced rum which is completely optional and can easily be left out.

This rustic pudding is delicious and will be the perfect perfect pudding to celebrate Mothers day next Sunday.

Rum Crust

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 medium free range egg
  • 2tbs spiced or dark rum
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 125g plain flour

The pastry requires a minimum of  2 hours resting and my suggestion would be to make the pastry the day in advance, leave it to rest in the fridge and make the rest of the pudding the following day.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg  and rum and cream  to incorporate.

Sift the flour, baking powder and ground almonds over the creamed butter mixture and fold it in. Turn the pastry out onto a sheet of clingfilm, bring the pastry together but do not knead it. Cover the pastry tightly and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Thermomix Method: Using the built in weighing scales weigh the sugar directly into the TM bowl, secure the lid and grind the sugar for 10 seconds on speed 10. Add the butter, cream for 30 seconds on speed 8, scrape the sides down and insert the butterfly whisk. Cream the butter and sugar for 1 minute at speed 4, scrape the sides down and repeat the process until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the egg and rum and cream for 30 seconds on speed 4. Sift the flour, baking powder and almonds into a separate bowl and add it to the creamed butter mixture. With the butterfly whisk still attached, fold the flour in for 10 seconds on speed 2. Scrape the sides down and repeat it for the second time, once the flour is incorporated stop and do not beat the pastry too much. Turn the pastry out, press it together and cover tightly with cling film, refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Poached Rhubarb

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100ml water
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

Wash the rhubarb and cut into 2cm pieces.

Pour the water, sugar and the vanilla seeds  into a medium saucepan, heat over low heat until the sugar has dissolved,then turn the heat up until the syrup boils rapidly for 1 minute.

Add the rhubarb cover the pan with a lid and poach the rhubarb for 5 minutes. Do not over cook the rhubarb as it will collapse and loose it's shape, it is better if the rhubarb is still crunchy at this stage.

Drain the rhubarb in a fine sieve, retain the syrup.

Spread the rhubarb in the base of the chosen oven dish, 24cm square or round is suitable.

Pastry Cream

  • 500ml milk
  • 50g corn flour
  • 4 medium free range egg yolk
  • Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 2 tbs spiced or dark rum (optional)
  • 75g caster sugar

Rinse a medium saucepan with cold water drain but do not dry the pan, add the milk and vanilla seeds and heat over medium heat until the milk starts to boil.

In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk, sugar and corn flour until it forms a smooth paste .

Add half of the hot milk to the egg mixture, mixing very well. Return the custard to the warm milk and over a low heat, cook for 5 minutes,  stirring continuously until thickened. Sir in the rum.

Thermomix Method: Using the built in weighing scales weigh all the ingredients apart from the rum directly into the TM jug. Secure the lid turn the speed dial to 4 for 20 seconds. Set the timer for 7 minutes, at 90°C and turn the speed dial to 4. Once cooked scrape the sides down add the rum and turn the speed to 10 for 20 seconds to ensure a very smooth pastry cream.

Pour the warm pastry cream over the poached rhubarb.

To Bake

Preheat the oven to  180 °C.

Roll the rested chilled pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface to 1/2 cm thickness. Cut a disk that will fit flat on top of the pastry cream. Gently transfer the pastry to the dish and lay it on top of the pastry cream. Use a metal skewer to make about 6 - 8 steam holes in the pastry, bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.

Let the pudding cool for 15 minutes then brush the rhubarb vanilla syrup over to glaze.

Serve either warm or cold.

Serve 8

Food Fanatics Tip

This pudding is truly delicious and I could happily make one for every season. Exchange the rhubarb for apples, blackberries, saffron poached pears, blueberries, raspberries, poached quinces or pineapple.


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21 Comments to “Rhubarb and Custard Pie Pudding”

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  1. Barry says:

    This one sounds tops… can’t get Rhubarb here ( now that really is sad) but will use apple and raspberries…. the combination of creme patissiere and a pastry top will just about blow the customers minds

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