Rhubarb and custard: a classic pairing and a favourite of mine at this time of year. I was excited to get my hands on my first forced, pink rhubarb of the year this week and wanted to make something to celebrate: enter these rhubarb and custard profiteroles. They’re filled with poached rhubarb and vanilla creme patissiere, and topped with rhubarb icing – light and deliciously moreish for early Spring. To make the profiteroles, you will need:
100g plain flour
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten.
For the creme patissiere:
10g plain flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the rhubarb:
50g soft brown sugar
Juice of one blood orange
For the topping:
100g icing sugar
A few drops of poached rhubarb juice, enough to reach your desired consistency.
First, make the rhubarb: preheat the oven to 180C Fan. Chop the rhubarb into 2-3 cm chunks, place in an oven proof dish, cover with orange juice, stir through the sugar and vanilla and cover with foil. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and cooked through but still keeps its shape. Set aside to cool, leaving the oven on while you make the profiteroles.
Place the water and butter in a pan and melt over a gentle heat, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Return to the heat, stirring until the mixture forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then beat the eggs into the cooled mixture a little at a time.
You may not need all the egg – the mixture should be smooth, glossy and a ‘dropping’ consistency that holds a V-shape if you hold up your spoon. Grease two baking trays and then run them under the tap to create a film of water that will make steam as you bake. Either pipe or spoon walnut-sized balls of choux onto the trays. Bake in the oven until golden brown, around 20 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and immediately make a small hole in each profiterole with a skewer to let the steam out. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the creme patissiere, heat the milk and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the vanilla. Then mix the egg, flour, cornflour and sugar in another pan. Add a third of the warm milk to the mixture and heat gently. Add the rest of the milk, whisking continually until the mixture thickens. Decant into a bowl and cover with cling film on the surface to avoid a skin forming. Cool in the fridge.
While the filling sets, dip or drizzle your profiteroles with the icing made from icing sugar and a few drops of rhubarb juice. Then fill your piping bag with the creme patissiere, with the rhubarb mixture loosely folded through, and fill until you feel the profiterole ‘push back’. Serve immediately: if you plan to eat them over a few days, fill them once you’re ready to eat them.
Recipe by me.