Delicious Rhubarb Curd. The season for ruby red rhubarb is so short that I find myself thinking each week about what I can make with rhubarb and how much I can fit in my freezer for later in the year. I figured If I can make lemon curd, why not rhubarb curd.
In the midst of recipe testing and recipe development, I am dealing with one of the worst allergy seasons ever. Recently I have woken up every day with either a runny nose or a stuffy head. I think briefly about taking the day off, but I still end up going to work because I know eventually I feel better as the day progresses, but by the late afternoon, I am tired and ready for a nap. I think about coming home and working on recipes, but for the last few weeks it has been hit or miss, mostly miss. I'm not finishing my recipes as quickly as I would like, but I am happy to finally share this recipe with you.
Rhubarb is a vegetable but often treated as a fruit, at least in the United States, and often combined with strawberries and raspberries for desserts or quick breads. There are different varieties of rhubarb which range in color from green to pink to red, The taste is always tart, but the redder the fruit the sweeter it is. The most important thing to know is that the leaves are poisonous, so no matter how good they make look do not eat the leafs.
My goal was to produce a rhubarb curd that is creamy, tart and luscious using cornstarch. As an engineer, I like to research and read before trying something new and I researched the heck out of this idea. The recipes I reviewed ranged in color from beige to deep pink, each used a different number of eggs, and different amounts of butter. Some used a rhubarb puree while others extracted the liquid. Even though I read a lot of recipes, this is my own recipe. Whenever I use someone else's recipe I give full credit to that person or company.
My first idea was to use the whole stalk minus the really tough fibers, and egg yolks. I cooked the rhubarb until soft, pureed it with an immersion blender and then tempered the eggs with the hot pureed rhubarb. I cooked it until it reached 185 degrees F. I liked the flavor, and my official professional taster, my husband, said it was good. But to be honest I didn't like the color, it was not appealing. I took a bunch of pictures and was ready to post but couldn't do it.
I went back to the recipe and this time, I strained the rhubarb after cooking it which produced a nice thick puree. I replaced two of the egg yolks with whole eggs to make the rhubarb thicker and added the butter in the end to create an emulsification. This curd was much better. It was creamier, tarter and the color is much more appealing.
Use this curd in place of butter or jam. Use on your toast, biscuits, scones, even ice cream. Whatever you think it will taste good with. Fruit (or in this case vegetable) curd is just that versatile.
- 400 grams rhubarb about 5 stalks
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) white granulated sugar divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 (40 grams) egg yolks
- 2 (100 grams) whole large eggs
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces
- Sliced the rhubarb about 1/2-inch thick. Place it in a 4-quart sauce pan with 1/4 cup of sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and stir together. On medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a low heat and cook until the rhubarb is tender, about 12 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep the rhubarb from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t leave the rhubarb unattended or you risk burning it.
- Place a medium coarse strainer over a bowl and scrape the rhubarb into the strainer. Use a large spoon to push the soft rhubarb through the strainer. You will have about 1 cup of rhubarb puree. Let the rhubarb puree cool to room temperature. At this point you can refrigerate the rhubarb puree up to 2 days. The rhubarb leftover in the strainer can be used in muffins, quick breads or stir it into your oatmeal.
- Place the rhubarb puree in a clean nonreactive sauce pan. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk to combine and taste the mixture. At this point add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time if is not sweet enough. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs and whisk until well combined. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk continuously until the curd reaches 190 degrees. Do not let it boil, that could cause the eggs to curdle. Once the curd is at 190 degrees F remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Strain the curd, to remove the solids. Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The curd will thicken as it cools. The curd is good is the refrigerator for up 1 week.