Rhubarb Creme Brulee with Cumin Shortbread

I love the flavours and textures in this dessert. The tartness of the rhubarb and the earthy notes of cumin contrast nicely with the richness of the vanilla cream. The caramelised topping adds crunch, and the crumbly shortbread is perfect for dipping into the barely set cream.

Rhubarb is in season right now, so this dish is sure to feature on our menu at The Guildford Arms soon, and if the weather is nice you can eat it in our beautiful garden.

Rhubarb Creme Brulee with Cumin Shortbread

There are a couple of potential pitfalls if you are making Creme Brulee for the first time.

  • When adding the hot cream to the whisked yolks make sure it is not boiling hot. It will cook the egg protein too quickly, making the custard grainy.
  • At this stage don’t over whisk the custard. The last thing you want is lots of air bubbles trapped inside. Gently stir the hot cream into the yolks until it is fully incorporated.
  • Cover the water bath tightly with foil making sure there are no holes or gaps around the edges. This will ensure the custard bakes quickly and evenly.
  • Dust the cooked custard with icing sugar as soon as they are cooked. This stops a skin forming on the top.

Rhubard Creme Brulee with Cumin Shortbread – makes 6

1 Large Stick Rhubarb

285ml Milk
285ml Double Cream
1/2 Vanilla Pod
6 Yolks
50g Caster Sugar

Plus Caster Sugar to Caramelise

  • Wash and slice the rhubarb into 1cm sections. Sprinkle with sugar and roast at 180C until tender.
  • Turn oven to 140C.
  • Place milk and cream in a pot and bring to the boil. Leave to cool for 1 minute.
  • Scrape the vanilla seeds into the yolks and whisk with the sugar.
  • Pour over the hot cream and gently whisk together.
  • Pour through a sieve into a jug and skim any froth from the surface.
  • Divide the rhubarb & place in the ramekins.
  • Pour in the custard and place the ramekins into a deep tray. Fill the tray with boiling water until it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake at 140C for 20 minutes.
  • The custard should by now be just set (if it looks a little runny return to the oven for a few more minutes). Dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin from forming and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • When ready to serve sprinkle with caster sugar and either place under a hot grill or caramelise with a blow torch. Return to refrigerator to set the caramel.

Cumin Shortbread

250g Unsalted Butter
125g Caster Sugar
100g Corn Flour
200g Plain Flour
2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
75g Ground Almonds

  • Beat the butter & sugar until pale & fluffy.
  • Mix in other ingredients.
  • Roll out and shape into a rectangle about an inch thick
  • Place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Cook at 170c until half cooked –  about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven & cut into slices.
  • Return to oven & cook until golden.
Roasting the Rhubarb


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4 thoughts on “Rhubarb Creme Brulee with Cumin Shortbread

  1. I’m gearing up for rhubarb season, and I’ve been looking for some new recipes, something a little different from the old stand-bys. I think I’ll have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

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