Saturday 23 September 2017

Rhubarb Brulee with rhubarb and strawberry compote

Mark Ahessy

Serves four to six.

You will need

For the creme brulee 800ml cream

2 vanilla pods

100g caster sugar

200g egg yolk For the compote 8 sticks rhubarb

Rind and juice of 1 orange

1 vanilla pod

200g caster sugar

400g strawberries

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 120°C/250°F/Gas

Mark ½.

To make the creme brulee, pour the cream into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Carefully split the vanilla pods down the centre with a large knife and scrape the seeds into the cream mixture. Stir well to combine. Remove the mixture immediately from the heat once it has warmed.

Put the caster sugar into a bowl with the egg yolks, and whisk together until well combined.

Pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture and stir thoroughly for a minute or two to dissolve the sugar. At this stage, you can chill the mixture in the fridge and cook the brulee the following day, or carry on.

When ready to cook, ladle the creme brulee mixture into ramekins and place these into a deep baking tray. Pour hot water into the tray until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins – this is called a bain-marie.

Place the bain-marie into the pre-heated oven and cook for about 30-35 minutes, until the creme brulees are set firm but still with a slight wobble. Allow to cool. You can place them in the fridge at this stage if you're not serving them immediately.

For the rhubarb and strawberry compote, pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Cut the rhubarb sticks into even ¼in slices and place them in a shallow oven dish. Remove the rind and juice of the orange and pour over the chopped rhubarb.

Split a vanilla pod down the centre with a large knife and scrape the seeds into the dish, then sprinkle the sugar over the top.

Place the dish in the oven for 30 minutes, then add strawberries to the dish and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Allow the compote to cool, then push it through a fine sieve for a smooth texture or leave as is and stir for a more rustic, fruity texture.

To complete the creme brulees, sprinkle some fine caster sugar on top and heat the surface under a hot grill, or with a mini blow torch, until it forms a thin layer of caramel. If you are using a grill, take care not to re-cook the creme brulees.

Place the compote mixture into small dishes and serve on the side.

Irish Independent

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