Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Rhubarb, Orange and Vanilla Trifles

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m not great at puddings; to be honest I never will be because they don’t really appeal to me. I’m prepared to spend time on starters and mains but by the time I get to thinking about pudding I tend to run out of steam and enthusiasm. However, I was inspired to have a go after seeing Gino D’Acampo on TV doing a lemony mascarpone trifle type thing (you can tell I wasn’t really listening, can’t you?) which sowed the seed of an idea.

Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits and we’ve had a fabulous crop in the garden this year so, shamelessly following Gino’s lead, I added some to a mix of mascarpone and custard, added a smidge of orange juice and alcohol and, even though I say it myself, it was pretty damn good and well worth doing again. It was as easy as pie and it also looked quite pretty. If you happen to grow strawberries or raspberries it could also be adapted to utilise some of those.

(We’ve had three strawberries from our plants so far this year - I won’t get the jam pan out just yet…!)

400g rhubarb, topped and tailed
grated zest and juice of half an orange
75g white sugar
125g mascarpone
200g tub custard
seeds from half a vanilla pod
8 sponge fingers (boudoir biscuits)
juice of half an orange
2 tbsp Cointreau
2 tbsp toasted hazlenuts, chopped

Chop the washed rhubarb into 3cm pieces and place in a pan with the orange zest, juice and sugar. Cook over a gentle heat until the rhubarb is just tender. Set aside to cool.

Stir the mascarpone, custard and vanilla seeds together until completely combined.

Mix the orange juice and Cointreau together.

Break the sponge fingers in half and place four halves in the bottom of four serving glasses. Sprinkle over the mixed orange juice and Cointreau, then spoon over half the rhubarb divided between the four glasses; cover this with half the custard and mascarpone, then repeat. Sprinkle over the toasted chopped hazelnuts.

Best served immediately but it can be kept covered in the fridge for an hour or two.

Serves 4

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