Sunday, 6 February 2011
I've been having a bad day today . . . the wind blew the roof to our shed away last night, it blew our fence over, Mitzie chewed through our ethernet cable during the night . . . and I am missing my friend Angie so very much.
My eyes keep filling up with tears and my heart is aching. I think it is the missing of Angie that is bothering me most of all. She has left a big hole . . . I need hugs, and comfort. I need to crawl into my mama's lap and feel her patting me on the back and telling me it will all be ok . . .
Alas, I live too far away for that, and I fear that even if I lived closer my girth would squash her flat . . .
This is the next best thing to a mother's lap.
Rhubarb and custard . . . the rhubarb roasted until just softened, in a mixture of sugar and orange . . . all pink and sweetly tart . . . earthy. The custard . . . rich, steeped in vanilla . . . eggy and milky and oh-so-comforting.
The two together are bliss . . . my favourite boiled sweets, in a little glass bowl.
Angie would have loved this . . .
*Roasted Rhubarb with Proper Custard*
Simple and old fashioned yes, but there's nothing old fashioned about it's lovely flavour. I have chosen to use orange and ginger to flavour my rhubarb here, but you can use whatever strikes your fancy . . . vanilla, anise, rose water . . .
2 pounds of rhubarb, washed,
trimmed and cut into 3 inch lengths
4 to 6 TBS caster sugar
the finely grated zest and juice of two large oranges
1 TBS finely grated fresh ginger root
custard (see below)
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Place the rubarb into a retangular roasting tin. Sprinkle with 4 TBS of the sugar, the ginger, orange zest and the orange juice. Give it a toss. Roast in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the rhubarb has softened, depending on how thick the stalks of rhubarb are. The rhubarb should be knife tender. remove from the oven. Taste and add the additional sugar if you feel it is needed.
Set aside to cool.
Serves 4 to 6
Proper custard is not all that hard to make if you follow a few rules!
500ml of full fat milk (2 cups)
563 ml of double cream (2 1/4 cups)
6 TBS caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthwise and the seeds scraped out
or 1 tsp of vanilla paste
8 large free range egg yolks
Place the milk, cream, half of the sugar and the vanilla pod, seeds or paste into a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for several minutes in order for the vanilla to infuse.
Whisk the egg yolks together with the remaining sugar until light in colour. Whisk in a bit of the hot milk mixture, then add the remaining milk mixture, whisking continuously. Strain this mixture back into the saucepan, removing the vanilla pod. (This can be rinsed, dried and stuck into your sugar jar, where it will make your sugar smell gorgeous and impart some vanilla flavour as well.)
Cook and stir over a very gentle heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cooking just until the mixture thickens and begins to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat immediately. It should be lump free, but if you do have a few, simply restrain it into a clean jug.
Serve hot or cold.
To serve the rhubarb and custard, divide the cooked rhubarb into individual serving dishes and ladle the warm custard over top. Delicious!