It was one of those days, I just needed some rhubarb and custard. I adored it as a child, usually a huge bowl of rhubarb and a decent dollop of custard on top. Today I reversed that with a bowl of homemade coconut custard and some poached Yorkshire rhubarb on top. Because I can, and because the custard was gorgeous.
Rhubarb and custard whisks me to childhood with every bite. I loved custard, usually whipped from Bird’s powder or ushered from a carton (no judgement – I loved it). Then in school, with the advance of compulsory Home Economics lessons (I do believe that every school should have them) I discovered real custard. Made slowly over gentle heat. Pouring custard, baked custard, and baked apples with custard. Eyes wide open, eggs, sugar and milk in gorgeous alchemy. I have been hooked ever since.
Custard, as with most things requiring a transformation of eggs and something other, is perceived as being tricky or complex. All you have to do is pay attention. Custard is actually fairly simple, especially when you cheat just a little by using cornflour, along with your egg yolks. Bird’s custard powder is primarily cornflour and colour.
Custard can take on many forms aside from the differences between baked, pouring, custard in tarts etc. You can play around with custard and make it savoury or sweet, and you can change the milk. Coconut milk custard is a favourite, the thick creamy milk gives a lovely texture. It is also easier, to get this texture with normal milk you have to add cream. With coconut milk you are good to go, and it takes no more than 10 minutes.
This is very easy and a joy. Everyone will love this but this is particularly special for anyone on a dairy free diet as they can have it. Enjoy!
- 400ml coconut milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g sugar (I like to use soft brown, even if it makes the colour a bit browner, use white for a more yellow custard)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 400g rhubarb
- 100g sugar
- 250ml water
Prepare your rhubarb first. Preheat your oven to 180 deg C. Dissolve the sugar in the water over heat, then arrange the rhubarb snugly in a single layer in an oven proof dish and pour the sugar-water syrup on top of it. Roast for 15 minutes and remove from the oven, leaving to cool in the syrup.
Prepare the custard. Bring the coconut milk almost but not quite to the boil. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla. Add the hot milk a ladle at a time, whisking briskly as you do so as not to cook the egg.
Pour back in the pan and heat over the lowest heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Eat with the rhubarb hot or cold - both are delicious.