Rhubarb and crumble trifle

Nathan Outlaw / 23 July 2012

Delectable and pretty, this combination of two classic British desserts has its richness lifted by the zing of ginger and the tartness of rhubarb, the vegetable that thinks it’s a fruit

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes plus setting




Rhubarb jelly

  • 500g of rhubarb, chopped
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 30g of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/3 gelatine leaves


  • 100g of plain flour
  • 100g of salted butter
  • 100g of Demerara sugar
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 50g of oats

Roast rhubarb

  • 200g of rhubarb
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 30g of fresh ginger


  • 30g of fresh ginger
  • 300g of single cream
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp of cornflour
  • Ginger cream
  • 250ml of double cream
  • 1 preserved stem ginger, plus 10ml of syrup from the jar


1. For the rhubarb jelly, combine the rhubarb, sugar, ginger and 200ml of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft.

2. Pass the mixture through a sieve. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Return the rhubarb liquid to the saucepan and heat through. Remove from the hob. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the rhubarb liquid. Stir to dissolve.

3. Pour the jelly mixture into 4 serving dishes (preferably old-fashioned glass trifle glasses) and set aside in the fridge until set.

4. To make the crumble, preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Combine the caster sugar, Demerara sugar, flour, butter and oats in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and scatter the crumble over it. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool. Crumble the mixture with your fingers and set aside until ready to serve.

6. To prepare the roast rhubarb, preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Cut the rhubarb into 2cm pieces and lay them on a lipped baking tray. Peel and grate the ginger and sprinkle it over the rhubarb along with the sugar. Splash with a little water and bake until the rhubarb is tender, but still has some bite – about 10-12 minutes. Remove the rhubarb from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.

7. To make the custard, roughly chop the ginger and place in a saucepan with the cream. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour together in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream, a little at a time, into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook, over a low heat until it thickens, stirring constantly.

8. Strain the custard through a fine metal sieve into a clean saucepan. Put a layer of cling film over the surface to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool.

9. For the ginger cream, whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Finely chop the preserved stem ginger and fold into the cream along with the ginger syrup and a little of the crumble mixture10. To finish the trifles, top the jelly with a layer of roast rhubarb pieces then pipe on a layer of cooled custard. Cover with the ginger cream and sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs.

Great British Chefs, the award-winning premium recipe website, is launching a new Summertime App ( www.greatbritishchefs.com/the-app ) in association with Ocado full of fabulous dishes worthy of the great British Summer of 2012. Proceeds of the app go towards Action Against Hunger, a global charity committed to ending world hunger while saving lives of malnourished children.

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