Delia

Old-fashioned Rhubarb Trifle

Old-fashioned because when I was a child – a very long time ago – I used to love jelly trifles, and my mother would always make one for my birthday. This is a much more adult version, and the sharp, fragrant acidity of the rhubarb makes it a very light and refreshing dessert for spring and early summer.


Serves 6

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two and Delia's Vegetarian Collection.

Old-fashioned Rhubarb Trifle
Ingredients
 1 lb 8 oz (700 g) fresh rhubarb
 4 oz (110 g) golden caster sugar
 grated zest and juice 1 orange
 about 10 fl oz (275 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
 2 oz (50 g) pecans
 6 trifle sponges
 3 level tablespoons marmalade
 4 fl oz (120 ml) Sercial (dry) Madeira
 1 x 11 g sachet gelatine powder
 12 oz (350 g) fresh custard
 7 oz (200 g) Greek yoghurt
To serve:
 a little pouring cream (optional)
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
Equipment
You will also need an ovenproof baking dish measuring 7½ inches (19 cm) square and 2 inches (5 cm) deep, and 6 individual serving bowls or 1 large trifle bowl with a capacity of 3½ pints (2 litres).

Method

To prepare the rhubarb, cut it into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks and add these to the baking dish. Then sprinkle in the caster sugar, together with the zest and juice of the orange. Now pop the whole lot in the oven without covering and let it cook for 30-40 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender but still retains its shape. At the same time, place the pecans in the oven and put a timer on for 7 minutes to toast them lightly, then you can either leave them whole or chop them roughly.


While the rhubarb is cooking, slice the trifle sponges in half lengthways, spread each half with the marmalade, then reform them and cut each one into 3 little sandwiches. Now arrange them either in the individual serving bowls or the large trifle bowl. Then make a few stabs in the sponges and sprinkle the Madeira carefully over them, then leave it all aside so it can soak in.

When the rhubarb is cooked and has become completely cold, taste it – if it is a bit sharp, add a little more sugar. Take a draining spoon and carefully remove the chunks of rhubarb, placing them amongst the sponges. Now pour all the juices from the dish into a measuring jug and make this up to 18 fl oz (510 ml) with the orange juice.

Next, pour 8 fl oz (225 ml) of this into a small saucepan, scatter the gelatine over, whisk it and leave it to soak for 5 minutes. Then place the pan over a gentle heat and whisk everything until all the gelatine has completely dissolved – about 2 minutes – then return this to the remaining juice in the jug and give it all another good whisk. Now pour it over the sponges and rhubarb. When it is completely cold, cover it with clingfilm and leave in the fridge till completely set. The last thing you need to do is whisk the custard and Greek yoghurt together in a mixing bowl, then spoon this mixture over the set jelly.

Now cover with clingfilm again and chill until you're ready to serve. Don't forget to sprinkle the toasted pecan nuts over just before serving, and, although it doesn't strictly need it, a little chilled pouring cream is a nice addition.

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