Rhubarb Clafoutis

This clafoutis is a little take on a classic French dessert, celebrating the best of my favourite winter produce, rhubarb.  I adore rhubarb, and look forward to the cooler months when I can turn it into all manners of delicious things.  Using rhubarb in the place of cherries is a masterstroke, as custard and rhubarb make an unbeatable combination.  The addition of blood orange provides a lovely sweetness to the tangy rhubarb, and takes the edge off its sharpness.

Roast Rhubarb
500g rhubarb, sliced into 5cm pieces
Zest of 1/2 large blood orange
Juice from large blood orange
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Unsalted butter, to grease clafoutis dish
75g plain flour (1/2 cup)
100g caster sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt flakes
200ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (you can also use the seeds from one vanilla pod, if you have one)
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled
1 teaspoon orange flower water
Roasted rhubarb, drained (liquid reserved)

Preheat oven to 200C.

Wash and cut the rhubarb into 5cm pieces and place into a baking dish.

Grate the zest of 1/2 a large blood orange over the rhubarb, then add the juice from the whole blood orange.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar and a tablespoon of demerara sugar over the rhubarb, and mix all the ingredients until well combined.

Place the baking dish into the oven and roast rhubarb for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Once cooked, remove the rhubarb from the oven, and leave the oven on (do not reduce the temperature). 

Place a large sieve over a bowl or small pot and very gently spoon the rhubarb into the sieve and allow it to drain and cool completely.  Pour any liquid from the baking dish into the bowl/pot and reserve it.

While the rhubarb is cooling, place the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.

Add the milk, and whisk gently by hand, then add the eggs one at a time, hand-whisking after the addition of each one, until combined.  Add the vanilla bean paste (or seeds), orange flower water and cooled melted butter, mixing until the batter is smooth.

Grease a large, 26cm flan dish with some unsalted butter (a slightly smaller dish is fine).

Gently arrange the drained rhubarb into the greased flan dish and pour over the batter evenly.

Place into the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven to 180C and bake for a further 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place the dish on a wire rack to cool for at least one hour to allow it to set.

Dust with a little icing sugar just before serving.  Once sliced and plated, drizzle over a little of the reserved rhubarb and sweet orange syrup.

Bon appetite!