So often rhubarb is either used ‘as is’ in pies or fruit crumbles, or stewed up and served in rather uninspiring-looking ways. Taking the time to puree the cooked fruit not only makes it look a little more attractive, it gives it a uniform texture that is ideal for a mousse. You can serve this dish chilled or frozen, depending upon your preference (and how far ahead you get it made). I love the combination of rhubarb and cardamom but powdered ginger is a good substitute as well. Best of all – you can use just-from-the-garden rhubarb or some you have stashed in your freezer.
- 1/2 pound (225 g) fresh or frozen rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) packed brown sugar, divided
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg, separated
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) heavy (35%) cream
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) mascarpone or cream cheese, softened
- Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Put rhubarb, juice, water and cardamom in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 5 minutes). Cover and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Place rhubarb and cooking liquid in a blender (or high sided container for immersion blender) and add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the brown sugar plus the pinch of salt.
- Puree until smooth.
- Clean the pot you cooked the rhubarb in and return the puree to the pot. Add egg yolk and remaining 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of brown sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
- When rhubarb is cool, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form; gently fold into rhubarb mixture.
- Rinse and dry the egg yolk bowl. Beat cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add in mascarpone and whip until smooth.
- Add cream mixture to rhubarb and fold until combined; you will still see some streaks of white in the mixture.
- Spoon into four serving dishes; freeze for up to 8 hours. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving; garnish with mint leaves at serving time.
Makes 4 servings.