Phil Vickery's rhubarb & custard pots with lavender biscuits
Forced rhubarb is available usually from late December to late March – it is produced using specially cultivated and treated plants which are then grown in almost darkness – in fact usually by candlelight. The resulting fruit is tender and bright pink in colour – look out for it in supermarkets during these months.
- 175g (6oz) butter
- 175g (6oz) lavender sugar
- 8tbsp Carnation Condensed Milk Light
- 1 egg, beaten
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- Zest and juice 1 orange
- 1½tbsp sugar
- 500g (1lb 2oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 140g (5oz) Carnation Condensed Milk Light
- 300ml (½pt) water
- 4 rounded tsp custard powder
- 6tbsp half fat crème fraîche
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 4.
- Beat the butter, sugar and condensed milk until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg, then sift in the flours. Work with a spoon and then your hands to form a soft dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut into shapes using a biscuit cutter.
- Transfer the biscuits to parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool and dust with sugar.
- Place the rhubarb in a pan with the orange juice and sugar. Cook until soft and pulpy. Cool then chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the custard; place the condensed milk and water into a pan and whisk together over a moderate heat. Mix the custard powder with a little cold water to make a paste then add into the pan and whisk until smooth. Turn up the heat and cook the custard until thickened. Leave to cool then cover with parchment paper (this will prevent a skin forming on the custard) and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, mix the crème fraîche into the custard and beat until smooth. Place the cooled rhubarb into dishes and top with the creamy custard, serve with a lavender biscuit.
Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.