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This rhubarb curd is what I turn to when I want a rhubarb dessert without those pesky fibrous bits.
This one is perfectly smooth and just lovely.
It’s lush and rich and creamy with a little bit of sugar and a generous amount of egg yolks and butter to round out rhubarb’s sharp edges.
This curd highlights rhubarb in a mellow mood. It’s not fierce and magenta and sour.
Rather, it’s pale pink and delicate and subtle and soft. It’s rhubarb with a kiss of vanilla.
And I can’t get enough of it.
The fussiest part about making it is that you need to start by simmering the rhubarb with a little bit of water and sugar to turn it into mush, and then you need to blend it into a puree with a stick blender or regular blender.
(I always use a stick blender because then I can puree it right in the pan, but use the tool you have.)
But that’s only about 15 minutes of work, and then you’re halfway there. (And you can make it a few days ahead and finish the making the rhubarb curd later if that works better for your schedule.)
The puree will be a gorgeous vibrant bright pink that might make you feel tempted to stop there.
But after the puree cools, you should absolutely carry on because the curd is so worth it. (And, uh, the puree is too tart to eat on its own.)
Some curd-making techniques require double boilers and a fussy egg-tempering process. But this one lets you build everything in the same pot. (I always advocate for dirtying fewer dishes than absolutely necessary.)
After the rhubarb puree has cooled, you add the rest of the sugar and the egg yolks and whole egg and give everything a good whisking. Then you just have to be sure to heat it up slowly to prevent the curdling the eggs.
Then after it reaches the magical thickening point of 170°F after about 8 or 9 minutes of gentle cooking, you remove it from the heat, add a splash of vanilla and whisk in chunks of butter.
You can stop there and have something wonderful, but to have the smoothest results, you’ll want to pass the rhubarb curd through a fine mesh strainer. This will catch any stray egg and whatever is left of the rhubarb’s stringy bits.
It’s a bit of finesse that’s worth the effort.
And then you’re left with this glorious, unctuous, velvety rhubarb curd that you can use in all sorts of ways.
I love swirling it into yogurt and sprinkling on some berries and my favorite granola.
It’s also lovely as a topping on pancakes or French toast (like, say, this buttermilk French toast) or slathered on brioche.
But it’s special enough to use in a full-fledged dessert, like in the filling of a strawberry pavlova or as the base of a mousse (like in this meyer lemon ginger mousse) as as the filling in a tart (like this cranberry curd tart).
But however you use it, you’ll be glad to have a jar of it in the fridge. Even if just to sneak it by the spoonful.
This rhubarb curd is a smoother, subtler take on rhubarb with the fibrous parts smoothed out and the sourness tamed. It's a great way to use frozen rhubarb as well, you have some stashed away there. Be sure to let the puree cool until it's no more than slightly warm to the touch before adding the eggs to it. You can make the puree a few days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to proceed with making the rest of the curd.
For the rhubarb puree
- 3/4 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1/2-inch slices (about 4 cups, chopped)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
For finishing the curd
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the rhubarb puree. Add the rhubarb along with the 1/4 cup of sugar and water to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until rhubarb is soft and gives easily when prodded with a silicone spatula or spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Puree the mixture with an immersion blender right in the pan or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth (return to the pan if you transferred it).
- Let cool until it's no more than slightly warm to the touch or cooler.
- After the puree has cooled add the remaining sugar, the egg yolks, and the whole egg and whisk together. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula, until the mixture reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 or 9 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add butter and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
- Pass through a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining fibrous bits.
- Transfer to jars and let cool before covering and storing in the refrigerator.
Keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
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ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer Kitchen Cooking Food Candy Thermometer for Oil Deep Fry BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer
Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract, with gift box, 4 ounces
Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender, Black
Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers
GIR: Get It Right Premium Silicone Mini Spatula, 8 Inches, Lime
All-Clad 4202 Stainless Steel Sauce Pan with Lid Cookware, 2-Quart, Silver
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62
Monday 2nd of January 2023
Super excited to try this. I've wanted recipes for creative fruit curds and am thrilled you have these. The passionfruit curd was delicious, looking forward to making the others.
Thursday 29th of April 2021
I have a huge crop of rhubarb this year and tried this recipe yesterday - it is fantastic! Followed directions exactly with exception of adding the butter while pan still on the hear (per another comment). I think I may like it better than lemon curd - thank you. I used it in a dessert layered with angel food cake, pudding, whipped cream, etc. Can't wait until it chills so I can try it.
Sunday 17th of May 2020
Thank you for developing this recipe! I love rhubarb and was so excited to find a cure recipe to use in a cake. It was delicious! I reduced the sugar slightly, to about 1/2 cup, to make sure it was pretty sharp. This was a good decision. I found that after it cooled in the fridge a bit, it developed a slightly grainy texture. I did some searching about this issue and found that this can happen when you add the butter after taking it off the heat. Next time, I will add the butter bit by bit soon after whisking in the eggs and sugar, and cook it all together till thickened.
Saturday 9th of May 2020
Saturday 9th of May 2020
How many cups of the rhubarb purée go into the finished recipe? (I’m definitely doubling...maybe tripling) the recipe and just wanted to get a handle on the proportions!
Saturday 9th of May 2020
I'm not totally sure what volume of the purée is. I don't have it in my notes on this one and I don't want to throw you off.
(I think it would cook down to about 2 cups, give or take??? It depends on how much moisture is in the rhubarb and how fibrous it is.)
If you have a scale, I'd weigh the rhubarb, or if not, use the chopped rhubarb quantity of about 4 cups as a guide.
The good news is this is a forgiving recipe and you should be fine if you're somewhere in the ballpark. Good luck!