Seasonal local food recipe No.187 – Jane’s rhubarb and custard cake

I tried this out on Camel CSA’s growing team (they’re always hungry) and they gave it the thumbs up. It’s from Jane Hornby at BBC GoodFood and caught my eye because it’s had over 100 enthusiastic reviews.

Our growers suggest it would taste even better served lukewarm as a pudding with lots of Cornish clotted cream.

Serves: 16 (or eight hungry vegetable growers)

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour (plus rhubarb cooking and cooling)


1 quantity Barney’s roasted rhubarb (see recipe, below Method)
250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (I used Flora)
150g pot ready-made custard, not chilled kind (I used Ambrosia)
250g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g golden caster sugar
icing sugar, for dusting

Make the roasted rhubarb first, carefully draining off the juices before you let it cool. Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

Reserve 3 tbsp of the custard in a bowl. Beat the rest of the custard together with the butter, flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and sugar until creamy and smooth.

Spoon one-third of the mix into the tin, add some of the rhubarb, then dot with one-third more cake mix and spread it out as well as you can. Top with some more rhubarb, then spoon over the remaining cake mix, leaving it in rough mounds and dips rather than being too neat about it.

Scatter the rest of the rhubarb over the batter, then dot the remaining custard over.

Bake for 40 mins until risen and golden, then cover with foil and bake for 15-20 mins more. It’s ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, so it may take a little longer. Cool in the tin, then dredge with icing sugar when cool.

Barney’s roasted rhubarb
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse 400g rhubarb and shake off excess water. Trim the ends, then cut into little-finger-size pieces. Put in a shallow dish or a baking tray, tip over 50g caster sugar, toss together, then shuffle rhubarb so it’s in a single layer. Cover with foil, then roast for 15 mins. Remove foil. Give everything a little shake, roast for 5 mins more or until tender and the juices are syrupy.

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