It can sometimes feel like we get a raw deal when it comes to FODMAP friendly fruit. ‘Stuck’ with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, limes – mangoes, blackberries, plums, pears, peaches, are often off the menu. You can imagine then how excited I get (yes, really) when the first rhubarb season rolls around in January (if we’re being particular rhubarb is actually a coloured vegetable that thinks it’s a fruit – but let’s not fuss now and give it what it wants). Bright pink and tart, it needs a decent amount of sugar to the balance the flavour and is delicious roasted, stewed or my favourite: in curd.
Buttery, sweet and mellow I looove me some curd. Rhubarb makes a great substitute for citrus and offers a lovely seasonal twist if you’re using the curd within other recipes. I’ve kept the following recipe for rhubarb quite simple but you can add spices while the rhubarb is simmering to make the juice, and then strain these out along with the pulp. My current favourites are a couple of cardamom pods lightly bashed or a knob of ginger, peeled and sliced.
The recipe makes quite a big batch and the shelf life is shorter than when you buy it in the shops (from experience 2-3 days max) because of the lack of preservatives, so make sure you’ve got lots of yummy uses for it. Or please feel free to halve the recipe instead! Some suggestions for maximum enjoyment:
400g (prepped weight) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into small slices
200g caster sugar
4 tsp cornflour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
pink food colouring (optional)
Put the rhubarb and 50g of the sugar in a pan over a medium heat, cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb has broken up and become pulp-like. Place a sieve over a bowl and push the softened rhubarb mixture through. You want to try and get every last bit, roughly 200ml rhubarb juice. Discard the pulp.
Place a clean saucepan over a low-medium heat and melt the butter. In a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of the rhubarb juice to the cornflour and stir. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the cornflour mix, eggs, the rest of the sugar and the remaining rhubarb juice. Put the pan back on a low heat and stir continuously for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.
Strain the mixture through a clean sieve into a bowl. If you like, stir in pink food colouring a drop at a time, until you reach the desired colour. Leave to cool completely and store in the fridge.