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Roasted Rhubarb & Rosy Custard Trifle

by , featured in Rhubarb
Published by Short Stack Editions
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Roasting rhubarb with a little sugar creates glazed pieces that retain their shape and look attractive in this layered dessert. I use this same custard when I make banana pudding, but when I pair it with rhubarb, I can't resist adding a few drops of rosewater to the recipe. I adore the subtle fragrance of rosewater in sweet and fruity recipes, as one often finds in Middle Eastern desserts; however, not everyone appreciates floral flavors in food, so it's fine to replace the rosewater with more vanilla extract instead. When you don't have time to fool with a trifle, just spoon the warm rhubarb over ice cream.

Image of Sheri Castle's Roasted Rhubarb & Rosy Custard Trifle recipe
Design and Illustration by Rotem Raffe


Serves: 8

For the roasted rhubarb

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar (divided)
  • 1 pound fresh, bright-red rhubarb (cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 vanilla bean

For the custard and trifle

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 x 8-by-4-inch loaf plain or vanilla pound cake

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Roasted Rhubarb & Rosy Custard Trifle is a guest recipe by Sheri Castle so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

Make the rhubarb: Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Spread the rhubarb in a single layer in the prepared dish.

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape the seeds into a small bowl, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar and toss to mix. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar over the rhubarb. Tuck the vanilla bean pod in with the rhubarb.

Roast the rhubarb until it's tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean pod and set the rhubarb aside.

Make the custard: In a large heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Whisking constantly, add the milk in a slow and steady stream. Whisk in the egg yolks. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the custard bubbles around the edges and thickly coats the spatula, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and stir until it melts. Stir in the rosewater and vanilla.

To assemble the trifle, cut the pound cake into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Line the side and bottom of a 2 1/2 quart trifle bowl or round baking dish with cake, breaking the slices into smaller pieces as needed. Spoon in one-third of the warm custard. Top with half of the rhubarb. Cover with a layer of the remaining cake. Spoon in one-third of the custard, followed by the rest of the rhubarb and any juices. Finish with the last third of the custard.

Serve the trifle warm or let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Additional Information

Fresh rhubarb is quite perishable. Place whole stalks in a plastic bag to retain moisture and refrigerate for up to 5 days in the crisper drawer. Wash and trim the stalks just before using.

If your fresh rhubarb gets fatigued and a little droopy on the ride home from the market on a hot day, you can refresh it by standing the stalks upright in a jar or bowl that's filled with enough cool water to cover the bottom inch of the stalks; let stand for about an hour. Once the stalks have recovered, store them in the refrigerator.

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