Rhubarb and Cardamon Fool recipe

Best rhubarb seasonal recipe for May. Botanists class these natural sticks of pink rock as a vegetable but most of us would declare them fruit – if a little tart unsweetened. 

Published: May 27th, 2016 at 9:41 am


Springing from the ground as early as February (though ‘forced rhubarb’ grown in heated, darkened sheds in Yorkshire may appear in shops in winter), rhubarb provides a bountiful crop through to July – no garden should be without one. The leaves are toxic, containing oxalic acid, so are always removed. The stalks are delicious simply stewed with sugar as a miraculous breakfast pick-me-up or used in crumbles and pies. 


  • 50g rhubarb, cut into 5cm batons
  • 10 cardaomon pods, cracked
  • 300ml chilled custard
  • 300ml double cream
  • 175g caster sugar


  1.  Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Put the rhubarb and cardamom on the baking tray and sprinkle over 75g of the sugar.
  3. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft and tender.
  4. Remove from the oven and carefully pour any excess liquid through a sieve into a saucepan. Discard the cardamom pods.
  5. Place the saucepan on the stove over a high heat and boil to reduce to a thick syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rhubarb and the remaining sugar.
  6. Place in the fridge until fully chilled.
  7. When ready to serve, remove the custard and rhubarb from the fridge and combine in a bowl. Whip the cream to soft peaks and carefully fold it into the rhubarb and custard to create a rippled effect. Serve in bowls with a piece of shortbread. 


This recipe by traditional English pudding maker Johnny Shepherd is taken from his new book Puddings (Weidenfeld & Nicolson Hardback £20, eBook: £10.99) 



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