Chilled rhubarb & ginger pudding with thick clotted cream has proved a big hit on my menus. Far sexier than that English school meal classic – Rhubarb & Custard. Nothing curdles quite like braised rhubarb hitting warm custard, which separates into globular lumps like those going up & down in a lava lamp. School meals, rhubarb was braised, the trick being to roast it with a drizzle of honey for scrumptious intense flavour & texture.
4 tbsp honey or 250g caster sugar
50g stem ginger, chopped
1 loaf white bread, thinly sliced
Loads of thick cream
Strain the cooking juices through a sieve, reserve the rhubarb. Put the rhubarb juice in a saucepan on the hob over a moderate heat, add the grenadine & simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Remove the crusts from the bread & cut each slice into three, cut disc shapes for the base of your pudding moulds (tea cups work well). Line each mould with cling film, allowing plenty of overlap. The film makes getting the pudding out easy.
Dip the bread in the rhubarb grenadine syrup & line the moulds with the soaked bread, overlapping slightly with each slice. Fill the moulds with the gingery rhubarb & a little of the syrup, cover with the circular base & cover the top with the overhanging cling film. Place a weight over each mould & refrigerate overnight.
Turn out the puddings, unwrap the film & plate them, pour any remaining syrup over. Crème fraiche goes nicely, although personally I favour an enormous heart-stopping dollop of thick clotted cream.