I grew up thinking that rhubarb and custard was some gross mush that mummy's used to make their children eat for breakfast. Rhubarb sounded gross and custard sounded even grosser.
It wasn't until many years later that I realized custard is the wonderful creamy goodness that makes many of my favorite foods happen: homemade ice cream, creme brulee, yummy quiche. And it wasn't until very recently (this year in fact) that I tasted rhubarb for the first time in years and was reminded how much I do love it. I was hit by a wave of nostalgia with every bite.
Rhubarb and cream were meant for each other. The buttery sweetness is the perfect balance to rhubarb's tangy, mouth-puckering flavor. I'm determined to experiment and come up with as many riffs on the classic combo as I can.
On our recent trip to England, my Aunt Carrie served a delicious rhubarb fool (that is cooked, sweetened rhubarb folded into whipped cream). I was hooked. Now that it's rhubarb season in Vermont, I just can't get enough of it. I made my own variation on the fool this past weekend by cooking rhubarb with some lemon and orange zest and a little sugar. Then I folded it into maple syrup-sweetened plain yogurt. Divine!
Tonight, I'm really pushing the limits of ultimate creamy tart flavor: strawberry rhubarb ice cream. Strawberries & cream meets rhubarb & custard. And the result is soooo good. The secret is in the lemon juice. You wouldn't think that rhubarb would need any more acid but it really does help bring out the flavor against all that creamy custard.
What's next? Tomorrow, I'm having rhubarb in my yogurt for breakfast. I hope I don't get a stomach ache!