Spring has finally arrived in Scotland! Easter weekend passed and suddenly the evenings seem longer, the temperature milder and the sun has been gracing us with its presence for weeks now. Despite the warning of a drop in temperature, and more than a drop of rain, this weekend the season has undoubtable changed and brought with it a new crop of spring produce. Every spring my mum makes a batch of lemon curd (you can find the recipe here) and seeing ruby red stalks of seasonal rhubarb inspired me to try a new twist on the recipe. I can reveal the results of this experiment now: superb.
Luckily my local gardener (dad) has a bumper harvest of both regular and forced rhubarb right now. I decided to go for the regular rhubarb for this recipe, purely based on aesthetics – I wanted a curd with a gorgeous pink colour. The initial juice from the rhubarb is an almost shocking pink, but when mixed with the butter and eggs it turns a more pastel shade. Very spring-appropriate, I think. If you have extra rhubarb and want to make something that retains the vivid pink then you can cook up the excess juice into rhubarb syrup for drinks. I’ll post a recipe in the next few days!
Ingredients (makes 1 medium-sized jar)
400g rhubarb (for leftover juice for rhubarb syrup increase to 700g)
150g granulated sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1. Chop the rhubarb into small pieces and place in a pan with a splash of water (just a few tablespoons).
2. Simmer the rhubarb on a low heat for 10-20 minutes until the rhubarb has completely softened.
3. Strain the rhubarb through a fine sieve to achieve a beautiful, smooth rhubarb juice. Measure out 250ml of the juice for the curd.
4. Melt the butter in a bain-marie making sure the water in the pan does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
5. Add the sugar and mix.
6. Add the eggs and rhubarb juice and whisk well.
7. Continuously stir the curd over a very gentle heat with a wooden spoon until you have achieved the consistency you want – usually so that it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. It can take a very long time to get to this stage so stick at it. And remember that the mixture will thicken a little more once cool.
8. Pour the curd into a sterilised jar and leave at room temperature to cool completely. Keep the curd in the fridge – it will last for at least 3 weeks.
Spread on toast or swirl through yogurt for an indulgent spring breakfast, or use the curd to top ice-cream for the perfect, simple spring dessert.