The glory of an English spring is definitely its rhubarb! First, those delicious pink early spears, and then the larger garden rhubarb.... whatever way you have it, it's always delicious (old-school crumble being the only exception). I've been delving into the latest BBC Good Food Magazine, and they had the most fabulous recipe for a Rhubarb ripple semi-freddo. The difference between this and standard ice cream is that it does not need an ice cream maker. Being a ginger freak, I added more ginger than the recipe stated, but my beloved husband declared it the best pudding he'd eaten in ages! (please note that he tests pretty much everything, and has become highly critical).
|Rhubarb Ripple Semi-Freddo|
Rhubarb Ripple Semi-Freddo
7oz/200g rhubarb, chopped
4oz/110g caster sugar
3 tbsp ginger cordial (I used the syrup from a jar of preserved ginger)
4 eggs, separated
4oz/110g icing sugar
½ pint/300ml double cream
2oz/50g ready made meringues (I used my own, cooked extra long)
(I also added 2oz/50g stem ginger pieces)
1oz/25g crystallised ginger to serve
Line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with baking parchment (I found a double layer worked best). Put the rhubarb into a medium saucepan with the sugar, cordial and 2tbsp water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb is soft, but still keeps its shape. Leave to cool.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then put aside. Whisk the yolks with the sugar until thick. Whisk the cream until thick but not too stiff. Fold the yolk mix into the cream until combined and then add the egg whites and half of the meringues, broken into small pieces (at this stage I added the crystallised ginger). Spoon 1/3 of the mixture into the loaf tin and freeze it for 30 minutes until set (putting the rest of the mix into the fridge). Once it has set, remove from freezer and add nearly half of the cooked rhubarb. Add another third of the cream mixture, and return it to the freezer for another half an hour. Add nearly all the remaining rhubarb, keeping some for decoration. Top with the last of the cream. Cover with cling film and put back into the freezer for 2 hours. (it can keep for up to a week, but is quite solid, so give it 20 minutes to rest before serving).
To serve, remove the parchment and tip it out onto a plate, decorating with rhubarb, ginger pieces and meringues.