Rhubarb and blood orange pudding

 I was out browsing my local green grocers on Saturday morning.  Looking for something seasonal for pudding that evening. I was struck by this early season rhubarb...lovely.

But what would I put with it,  my eyes were drawn downwards to the blood oranges below.  Perfect.

It is amazing,  sometimes the inspiration is there, just staring you in the face.


For the fruit base:
3sticks of rhubarb
3 blood oranges zest and juice
4 tblsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod

For the sponge topping:
4 eggs
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1tblsp melted butter or rapeseed oil
the zest from one of the oranges above
1/2 a vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the stewed fruit layer:

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade then chop the rhubarb into 1cm pieces and put into a 25cm by 15 cm, oven proof dish.

Grate in the zest of two of the oranges (reserving the zest of the last orange for the sponge) and add to the dish. Then squeeze the juice of the oranges over the rhubarb. 

Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and throw them along with the pod onto the rhubarb. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the rhubarb.  Give the whole thing a good mix and flatten into an even layer.

To make the sponge topping:

Crack the eggs into a heatproof bowl and add the reserved orange zest, the sugar and the seeds vanilla. 

Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and begin to whisk. 

Whisk the egg mixture until it becomes pale, light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Take the mixture and continue to whisk until it cools to room temperature. I put the dish into a basin of cold water to speed up the process.

Once cool fold carefully fold in the flour and then the melted butter or rape seed oil.

Once everything is combined the mixture should look like this.

Top the rhubarb with the sponge mixture (I put the mix into a piping bag for a neater finish).  Bake the pudding in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the sponge in golden brown.

 Serve the pudding warm or cold with cream, custard or creme fraiche....Yum!

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