Lavender Poached Rhubarb with Ginger Custard Cream

rhubarb Work has begun again down at the allotment. It has been a long time coming and it did get to the point where I questioned whether it really was possible to fit the allotment in to our ever increasingly busy lives.  There is nothing remotley relaxing about owning an allotment. In reality, whenever I (& Mr.Scott) get a moment to go down there, we inevitably stay for twice as long as we said we would and we can return the following week knowing there will be equally as many hours needed to attend to various jobs.

rhubarb I say all this and you may think I am on the verge of throwing on the allotment towel. But, no I am not. In fact, I do love it. The allotment provides a welcome retreat from my virtual world and I have come to the conclusion that I need it in  my life to give me sanity and restrain my mild addiction to the virtual world. A chance escape from it all. When I am there, absorbed by seed planting, relentless weeding, digging and hoeing that is all that matters. It is so good for me. I rarely check my phone and I don’t really take photos.I just work on the job in hand and reap the rewards of growing your own.

The rewards so far have been sorrel, rainbow chard, perpetual spinach, chives, spring onions and rhubarb. The pink stemmed gigantic leaved plant is what this post is all about. Rhubarb is the plant of the moment, it seems and I have been experimenting with it over the last week. 

salad So, I have just made rhubarb vodka following THIS recipe. It isn’t ready for consumption  for another THREE months though. I have  also experimented with sour flavourings to the max in Ottolenghi’s latest SOUR salad recipe. Raw rhubarb is curious but in a good way. The salad was unlike anything I have ever made before but as with all Ottolenghi recipes, his flavours bring ingredients to life, allowing ingredients to shine like the sun. 

The recipe I want to share with you is something I have adapted from one of my favourite food writers, Sybil Kapoor. This is a recipe I have adapted from her book SIMPLY BRITISH. Her recipe begins with a quote from Eliza Acton on the benefits of eating fruit compote and I knew I had to make it. The poaching liquor in itself is just beautiful. Heady, mildly alcoholic and  perfectly good  to drink neat.

I adapted the almond cream, turning it into a ginger custard cream. I baked the ginger biscuits myself and used the winning recipe (for the biscuit crunch) from The Guardian “Cook” featuring the best “Crunchy”  recipe, made by Ruth at VeggiSchmooze. They most certainly do pack a crunch, as well as tasting very good. This recipe is something I would  urge you to try. It is everything a good sweet dish should be. Layers of flavours, harmonious and well balanced. Soft poached aromatic fruit with a silky yet crunchy spiced cream. This dish sums up just why Sybil Kapoor is one of my absolute favourite food writers.

I am linking this recipe to the SwallowCharity  RECIPES FOR LIFE challenge over at BangersMashChat. The ingredients this month are Rhubarb, Lemon and Spice.

I am also sending it over the Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season. Rhubarb is certainly in season right now, according to my allotment and Utterly Scrummy’s, she has so many lovely  rhubarb recipes to try out! I am soon going to be bombarded with gooseberries and hopefully elderflowers too. So the allotment is forgiven for being such hard work for this year.


Lavender Poached Rhubarb with Ginger Custard Cream
Serves 4
A wonderful aromatic and spiced seasonal pudding.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. For the poached rhubarb :)
  2. -4 large stalks of rhubarb chopped into chunks,
  3. -1/2 pint of water,
  4. -120g sugar
  5. -1tsp dried Lavender (I used Bart's),
  6. -the peel of 1 unwaxed lemon,
  7. -juice of 1/2 a lemon,
  8. 80ml Pineau des Charentes or Sweet Sherry or Pudding wine,
  9. For the ginger custard cream :)
  10. -1 small tub of double cream whipped to soft peaks,
  11. -1 small tub of ready made custard (yoghurt pot sized),
  12. -8 ginger crunch buttons crushed
  1. For the poached rhubarb :)
  2. 1. Put the water, sugar, lemon peel and lavender into a saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat then bring it up to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes,
  3. 2. Transfer the poaching liquid into a wide pan large enough to poach the rhubarb in one even layer and poach the rhubarb for 15 to 20 minutes until it is just cooked through,
  4. 3. Remove the rhubarb from the poaching liquor,
  5. 4. Strain the liquor into a pan and boil until the liquid reduces to from a syrup (at least 5 to 10 mins),
  6. 5. Add in the alcohol of choice and the lemon juice , pour over the rhubarb and let it cool.
  7. For the ginger custard cream :)
  8. 1. Fold the custard into the lightly whipped cream along with the crushed ginger biscuits, leaving a little amount of the biscuit crumbs aside for garnishing the finished dish.
  9. For assembling the dessert :)
  10. 1. Place equal amounts of rhubarb and some of the syrup into 4 glass bowls/ice cream dishes and top with the ginger custard cream topped with some extra crushed biscuits. Chill until ready to eat.
Adapted from Sybil Kapoor
Adapted from Sybil Kapoor
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  1. This sounds SO good Laura. You seem to be getting lots of lovely food as a rewards for all your hard work on your allotment. Glad to hear you are enjoying your time there.

  2. Rhubarb and lavender – now there’s a combination that sounds interesting! And a great way to use some of the sherry we have left over from Chrismas – bought it for visitors who always drink sherry… except at Christmas.

    • This is perfect for using up Sherry and lavender works really well with rhubarb and so do the ginger biscuits in the cream, hope you do try it out :))

  3. Oh yes, this looks like my kind of pud – I love it! A superb entry for May’s Recipes for Life, thank you so much Laura. And thanks also for the links to the rhubarb vodka and Ottolenghi salad recipes, both of which I’ll definitely be trying out very soon as we’ve been given half a tonne of rhubarb by a friend! I’m intrigued by the idea of rhubarb in a salad…

  4. A wonderfully creative pudding – what a fantastic way of jazzing up a rhubarb dessert! I hear where you are coming from re escaping from the virtual world. It can be very addictive and at times overwhelming! Is it because the allotment is still in it’s infancy that requires so much work or would you have to do the same amount year in, year out? It’s great you have so much energy and motivation to keep up the good work :-)

    • Thanks Jac, yes it’s still fairly new the allotment, coming up for a second year. It is definitely something that needs regular attention, I think little and often seems to work well!

  5. I remember what lovely recipes came out of your allotment last haul and this lovely dessert shows you still have great ideas for cooking the produce. The rhubarb must smell and taste amazing as it poaches and I would be having to hold back from licking the plate to finish off the syrup!
    See you in June ! X

  6. This sounds mouth-watering, Laura. At once herbal, sweet, sour, smooth, creamy, crunchy – everything!
    As for the allotment, we gave ours up when we moved too far away to make it bikeable (well *easily* bikeable). I really enjoyed erasing the rest of the world for awhile and just being. You can’t really think about too much, or at least have negative thoughts, when you are concentrating on not putting your back out, or getting your wigwag to stand up straight. And I loved chatting to all of the old hands who would spend hours brewing tea and hiding from their wives, dispensing advice to us whippersnappers as needed. I do miss it, but boy is it a tie. Luckily we have space for some edibles and are growing (but a bit behind you I suspect) the same as you. An old-faithful clump of rhubarb feeds us at this time of year and this looks a fresh new way to serve it. And thanks for the links to other recipes too x

    • You are right Kellie, it is brilliant when you are there but it definitely is something you need to keep on top of. I have discovered that the fruits have been really low maintenance but still abundant and that all beans are easy as are courgettes. So we do focus on plants that don’t need much help from us and love the fact it is all organic and tasty. The rhubarb just keeps on coming too!

  7. What an interesting recipe and a great combination of flavours. I’d quite happily consume this…and it’s great that you grow some great ingredients on your allotment…don’t throw in the allotment towel!!! :-)


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