Paul Wedgwood’s Caorunn gin, pink pepper, rhubarb and vanilla trifle

With forced rhubarb now in season it's a great time to try out this quite a unique dish which Paul has carefully crafted using a relatively new Scottish gin.

Serves 4
Prep time 45 minutes (plus cooling, infusing and chilling)
Cooking time 25 minutes


Rhubarb jelly

4 rhubarb stalks peeled and peel reserved
3 pink pepper corns
250g caster sugar
100ml dry white wine
½ orange finely grated rind of both and juice of ¼
25ml grenadine
25ml Caorunn Gin
2 leaves gelatine softened in cold water

Pink Pepper and vanilla sponge

2 room temperature eggs
10 pink peppercorns crushed
40g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod seeds scraped
60g self raising flour finely sieved
10g melted unsalted butter

Custard

400ml double cream
½ vanilla pod split and scraped
8 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
3 juniper berries


Method

For the sponge, preheat oven to 200C. Whisk eggs, pink pepper, vanilla and sugar with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy and doubled in volume. Sift in flour and carefully fold to incorporate fully, then do the same with the butter. Pour onto lined baking tray and bake for about 6 minutes until nicely golden brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling wire and cool completely. Cut into shapes of trifle glasses and place in bottom.

Turn oven down to 170C.

Cut rhubarb into 5cm pieces and then again into 3 strips lengthways. Reserve trimmings. For the jelly and baked rhubarb, put sugar, wine, rind, pink pepper, rhubarb trimmings and peelings, grenadine with 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes and set aside to infuse. Place rhubarb strips into a roasting dish and strain syrup over rhubarb. Cover with baking paper then foil and cook for about 10 minutes until just tender. Leave to cool in syrup. Strain syrup again, add gin and drizzle a small amount over the sponge. Heat remaining syrup add gelatine (water squeezed out) and stir to dissolve. Set aside some where not to cool.

For custard, bring cream, juniper and vanilla to boil in thick bottomed pan. Set aside to cool. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Pour in a small amount of the boiled cream mix onto the eggs to scorch. Add rest of cream mix very slowly a bit at a time whisking all the time. Return mix to pan and with a thermometer on the back of a spoon keep stirring the mix over a low heat until the mix reaches 82C remove from heat and quickly pour over sponge until glass is ¾ full. Gently tap the glass to even out the top and place on a tray and refrigerate.

When chilled pour over the rhubarb jelly until glass is nearly full. Finish with roasted rhubarb, rhubarb crisp.

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