Yorkshire Rhubarb, Creme Brûlée & Pistachio Nougatine

A delicious de-constructed Crème Brûlée! If rhubarb is unavailable, this dessert works brilliantly with some perfectly ripe strawberries in the summer, peeled figs in autumn or poached pears in the winter

Serves 8


For the Crème Brûlée

600ml double cream

2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped

3 tbsp caster sugar

6 egg yolks

For the Pistachio Sponge

75g peeled green pistachios

75g granulated sugar

20g plain flour

4 (150g) eggs whites

For the Pistachio Nougatine

80g granulated sugar

50g bright green pistachios

For the Poached Rhubarb

500g thin Yorkshire rhubarb cut into 2cm x 2cm dice

300g water

60g sugar

2 tbsp grenadine

  1. To make the brûlée, heat the cream, vanilla and caster sugar until hot, pour on to the eggs and whisk thoroughly, chill. Pour into a vacuum bag, seal and then steam at 75°C for 60 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag, chill.

  2. For the sponge, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor (on a high speed) for two minutes until very smooth. Transfer to a foam gun, load with two pellets, shake well and chill for two hours.

  3. For the nougatine, preheat the oven to Fan Plus at 190°C. In a small heavy based pan make a dark caramel with the granulated sugar. When almost dark, remove from the heat and throw in the pistachios. Mix thoroughly and carefully pour onto some greaseproof paper or a silicone mat.

  4. When cool, break into pieces and place into a food processor, blitz until quite smooth. Then evenly distribute on to a tray lined with either greaseproof or the mat and bake in the oven for 2 minutes until just melted. Remove from the oven, carefully slide the matt from the tray and allow to cool slightly, then peel back and let the tuille harden. Break into bite sized pieces.

  5. Make the grenadine syrup; heat the water and sugar until just dissolved, remove from the heat, add the grenadine and allow to chill. When cold, add the diced rhubarb.

  6. Steam the rhubarb; vacuum pack the rhubarb in the syrup (one layer) and steam at 61°C for 15 minutes, allow to cool. Pass the cooking liquor and reduce until syrupy, chill.

  7. Cook the pistachio sponge; when ready to serve: pipe the pistachio sponge into a greased plastic tub or cup and microwave on 850W for 45 seconds. Break into bite size pieces.

  8. To assemble the dish, pipe the crème brûlée onto each plate and arrange the rhubarb, the pistachio sponge and the pistachio tuille on the plate. Spoon over the reduced grenadine syrup. Serve immediately.

About the Author

Marianne Lumb’s culinary journey began 30 years ago at her home in Leicestershire where she helped her mother prepare the family meals and inherited her love of food from her father. After training, she was employed by Michelin-starred restaurant Gravetye, during which time she also worked as a private chef with much success. Marianne has cooked in restaurants all over the world and her time spent living abroad has diversified and developed her skills whilst broadening her knowledge on her speciality – seasonal food. On top of her career as a chef, Marianne is an admired teacher at Leiths School of Food and Wine, has produced her first book Kitchen Knife Skills and in September 2013 opened her restaurant, Marianne, which one-month later saw her crowned ‘London Restaurant Festival Chef of the Year’.

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