This recipe came about because I love trifle, I love Queen of Puddings, and I love rhubarb and custard and I wanted them all! It works remarkably well. You could use a 500ml pot of prepared custard, but you would need egg whites for the meringue so I think it’s really best to make the custard yourself. When you’ve done it once you’ll realise just how easy it is and then you can always make your own proper custard for trifles – it sets so well.
Print the recipe here.
• 500g rhubarb
• 4 large eggs
• 400g ginger cake or golden syrup cake
• 75g granulated sugar
• 500ml milk
• 2 tbsp + 75g caster sugar
• 1 level tbsp cornflour
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Wash and trim the rhubarb, then cut it into 2cm chunks. Separate 3 of the eggs, adding the yolks to the remaining whole egg in a medium sized bowl. Keep the egg whites in a large bowl until required. Slice, then roughly crumble the cake into the bottom of a 1 – 1 1/2 litre ovenproof dish.
2. Cook the rhubarb in a covered saucepan with 2 tbsp water over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the granulated sugar, then pour the rhubarb over the cake in the dish. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200C.
3. Heat the milk in a pan until almost boiling. Meanwhile, lightly whisk the egg and yolks with the 2 tbsp caster sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Pour the hot milk onto the mixture, stirring all the time, then pour the custard back into the pan. Cook slowly over a moderate heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from catching and burning as it thickens. Cook until the custard thickly coats the back of the wooden spoon, then pour it gently and evenly into the dish over the rhubarb.
4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar. Stop whisking as soon as the last of the sugar is incorporated. Pile the meringue carefully over the custard, then use a fork to pull it into peaks and ensure that every last bit of custard is covered. Bake for 5 minutes, until the meringue is lightly golden. Serve warm or cold.
• Always rinse the saucepan used for heating the milk with cold water before returning the uncooked custard to it – this helps to prevent the custard from sticking.
• Use bought or homemade ginger cake.
• This delicious pudding is much better warm or cold than piping hot from the oven.