Rhubarb, custard and orange trifle

This distinctly British trifle recipe combines the sweet flavour of rhubarb with a zingy orange custard, burnt orange segments and a light genoise sponge. Topped with poached rhubarb, Chantilly cream, crunchy pistachios and rose petals, it’s a stunning way to finish a dinner party and provides a clever twist on the classic flavours of trifle.

First published in 2020
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Rhubarb jam and jelly

  • 500g of rhubarb
  • 500ml of water
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10g of grenadine
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 1g of agar agar

Genoise

  • 300g of egg
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 145g of cake flour
  • 6g of baking powder

Orange custard

Burnt oranges

Chantilly

  • 200ml of double cream
  • 1 tsp icing sugar

To serve

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Blowtorch
  • Electric mixer
  • Shallow baking tray

Method

1
Begin by making the rhubarb jam and jelly. Preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Bring the water, sugar, grenadine and vanilla to the boil in a small saucepan, then set aside
  • 500ml of water
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10g of grenadine
2
Peel the rhubarb and cut into equal-sized batons, then spread out in a shallow roasting tray. Pour the poaching liquid over the top, the cover with tinfoil and cook in the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until just tender (do not overcook, or the rhubarb will turn mushy). Strain off the poaching liquid and reserve, then allow the poached rhubarb to cool
3
Weigh out 200g of the poached rhubarb (reserving the rest to garnish) and place in a blender. Blitz until a smooth jam forms and set aside
4
To make the rhubarb jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour 300g of the rhubarb poaching liquid into a small saucepan and add the agar agar. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Squeeze the gelatine leaves to drain, then whisk them into the hot rhubarb liquid. Allow to cool to room temperature
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 1g of agar agar
5
To make the vanilla genoise, preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 10 minutes, until a thick sabayon forms
  • 145g of cake flour
  • 6g of baking powder
  • 300g of egg
  • 150g of caster sugar
6
Lightly fold in the flour and baking powder by hand until just combined, then gently spread the sponge into a 35cm Swiss roll tin or shallow baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool
7
For the orange custard, bring the milk and orange zest to the boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour. Pour the boiling milk over the eggs, whisking vigorously, then return the mixture to the pan
  • 240g of whole milk
  • 1/2 orange, finely zested
  • 50g of egg yolk
  • 30g of caster sugar
  • 15g of plain flour
  • 15g of cornflour
8
Continue to cook the custard, stirring, until it comes to the boil. Cook for 1 minute, taste to ensure the starches have cooked out, then add the butter and whisk until smooth. Cool rapidly by pouring the custard into a shallow tray
9
For the burnt orange, pat the orange segments dry with kitchen paper then spread out on a metal tray. Use a blowtorch to char the orange segments until lightly blackened
10
Make a simple Chantilly cream by whipping the double cream and icing sugar until thickened
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
11
To assemble, spread the cooled genoise sponge with the rhubarb jam, then cut into cubes. Alternatively, you could also cut the sponge into circles the same size as your serving dishes to create a single layer of cake, as in the image above
12
Place the sponge cubes in the base of your bowls and top with half of the burnt orange segments, roughly chopped. Spoon the orange custard over the top and place in the fridge for 1 hour to set
13
Gently pour over the rhubarb jelly, then return to the fridge to set again. Garnish with a spoonful of the whipped cream, the remaining poached rhubarb and burnt oranges. Finish with a scattering of pistachios, confit lemon peel (if using) and dried rose petals
First published in 2020
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Graham Hornigold’s expert pastry skills have been refined in some of the best restaurants and hotels in London, effortlessly adding delicate, refreshing touches to dessert menus. Previously group pastry chef at Hakkasan Group, he now travels the world with his pastry consultancy business Smart Patisserie (as well as producing the best doughnuts you've ever tasted under the Longboys brand).

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