Rhubarb and custard jellies

Rhubarb and custard jellies

How to Cook Desserts
Peter Cassidy

If you make these jellies with early, forced, pale pink rhubarb, they will have a lovely natural pink colour. If using outdoor rhubarb, you can cheat and add a very little food colouring. Serve with shortbread biscuits.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg rhubarb, thin-stemmed, ideally pink
1 orange
225g golden caster sugar
6 sheets leaf gelatine
pink food colouring, preferably paste (optional)

For the custard

Quantity Ingredient
300ml whole milk
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
125ml caster sugar
5 sheets leaf gelatine


  1. Wash and trim the rhubarb, then cut into short lengths. Juice the orange. Place the rhubarb, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for 3–5 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just soft. Remove about 1 tbsp rhubarb per person for decoration, and set aside to cool. Continue to cook the remaining rhubarb for a further 3–5 minutes, or until very soft.
  2. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve (lined with a muslin cloth if you have one, for the clearest of jellies), pushing gently with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure all the juice is released. Once strained, discard the rhubarb left in the sieve and measure the liquid. Calculate the amount of gelatine leaves required to set the rhubarb juice according to the packet instructions. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Return the rhubarb juice to a pan and warm over a low heat. If it isn’t very pink, add a drop or two of pink food colouring to achieve the desired colour. Once hot, remove the pan from the heat, squeeze the excess water from the soaked gelatine leaves and add them to the rhubarb liquid. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, then leave the jelly in the warm pan and allow it to cool to tepid while you prepare the custard layer.
  4. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the pan and place over a medium heat. Scald the mixture, by gently heating it until steaming, and bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Take off the heat and remove the vanilla pod and any skin that has formed.
  5. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour in a little of the scalded milk mixture and stir, then add the remaining milk gradually, stirring continuously until fully combined. Rinse out the saucepan.
  6. Return the mixture to the cleaned pan. Place over a low to medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until thickened. To check that the custard has thickened enough, remove from the heat and draw the back of the spoon through the liquid. It should coat the back of the spoon evenly and not drop away and pool at the base of the spoon, and when you draw a clean finger down the back of the spoon through the custard, the trail should remain. When you reach this point immediately strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  7. Measure the custard and calculate three quarters of the amount of gelatine recommended on the packet instructions. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes, then remove from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid and add them to the warm custard. Stir well until dissolved. Divide the custard equally between 8–10 serving glasses and transfer to the fridge to cool and set.
  8. When the custard has just set, divide the rhubarb jelly between the glasses and return the dishes to the fridge to set.
  9. Take the jellies out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Top with a little of the reserved poached rhubarb and serve.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again