Rhubarb and Pomona trifle

Serves 2
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Julian Temperley has now started producing Pomona (blended from cider apple juices fortified with cider brandy) and Kingston Black apple apéritif (a West Country version of Pineau des Charentes). It makes a perfect dessert or cheese partner and adds a very British touch to a trifle. The Somerset Distillery (01460 240782; www.ciderbrandy.co.uk)

250g rhubarb
50g caster sugar
1 sheet (3g) of leaf gelatine
20-30g sponge fingers broken into small pieces
100ml Pomona or Kingston Black fortified wine

For the custard:

Quarter of a vanilla pod
150ml single cream
2 large egg yolks
30g caster sugar
1tsp cornflour

For the topping:

120ml double cream
30g caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Chop the rhubarb into rough 1-2cm pieces and place on a baking tray scattered with sugar. Cover with foil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just cooked. Remove the foil and drain into a sieve, set over a bowl to catch the juices. Soak the gelatine in a container of cold water for 2-3 minutes until soft, then squeeze out the excess water. Reheat the juice from the rhubarb in a small pan, remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine until dissolved, then add the Pomona and mix well. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or so, or until set.

To make the custard, split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Put the single cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a small saucepan; bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and infuse for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix the yolks, sugar and cornflour. Take out the vanilla pod and pour the cream on to the egg mixture; mix well with a whisk. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens. (Don't let it boil!) Remove from the heat and give it a final whisk.

Transfer to a bowl; lay a sheet of clingfilm over the surface to prevent skin forming and leave to cool for 45 minutes. Once the jelly has set, spoon over the custard, then leave to set for an hour or so in the fridge.

To prepare the topping, put the double cream and sugar into a bowl and whisk until fairly firm, then fold in the rest of the cooked rhubarb. Leave in the fridge until the custard has set. To serve, spoon the cream mixture on top of the custard.

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