Yoghurt pudding with poached rhubarb

This recipe is based on Moro’s yoghurt cake which they serve with fresh berries and pistachios. I thought that it might work very well at this time of year with gently poached rhubarb. Which it does. Yoghurt is also particularly good at the moment as the cows have just come out into the fields and are feeding on the new grass shoots, giving it an extra sweetness.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Pudding

2 large eggs; 50 g caster sugar; 1 vanilla pod; 235 g thick, natural yoghurt; zest of 1 lemon and ½ orange, finely grated; juice of 1 lemon; 15 g plain flour

Rhubarb

4–6 sticks rhubarb; coarse zest strips of ½ orange and 1 lemon; 1 star anise; 300 ml water; 1 seeded vanilla pod; 100 g granulated sugar; 100 g honey

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Place a large baking dish or tin with a little water in the oven.

Separate the eggs – be especially careful that none of the yolk gets left with the white (the other way round is not so crucial). Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with three-quarters of the caster sugar until thick and pale. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the yolk mixture. (Reserve the pod.) Mix well with the yoghurt, lemon and orange zest, flour and lemon juice to taste.

Bring a full kettle to boil.

In another bowl add the remaining sugar with the egg whites and whisk to soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the yoghurt and yolk mixture.

Pour this mixture into a smaller baking dish and place this into the larger dish. Pour boiling water into the larger dish until it comes halfway up the side of the smaller dish.

Place in the oven and bake for 30–40 minutes. Check occasionally that there is still sufficient water in the large dish.

While the yoghurt pudding is baking, prepare the rhubarb. Put the water, zest, sugar, honey, star anise and leftover vanilla pod into a pan over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to the boil then set aside for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Chop the rhubarb sticks into roughly 4 cm pieces.

Check the yoghurt pudding is ready: it should be light brown on top of a light sponge, and like a custard underneath.

Just before serving, remove the vanilla pod and pieces of zest, warm the syrup again to hot but not boiling and gently poach the rhubarb for about 2 minutes until tender but still holding its shape. Remove immediately from the pan.

Serve on warm plates: rhubarb pieces just to one side with a light covering of the syrup and the yoghurt pudding next to and around the rhubarb.

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