I love rhubarb season, but in the past I've always managed to overcook it and the gorgeous stalks turn into shreds. This recipe in the latest Dish magazine is a winner though.  Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. Place 5cm pieces of rhubarb in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle two tablespoons of orange juice over the rhubarb followed by quarter of a cup of caster sugar. Cover with tin foil and bake for fifteen minutes until just tender but still holding its shape. Cool and serve, preferably with this delicately flavoured orange custard:

2 cups full-cream milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup cornflour

Put milk, caster sugar and vanilla in saucepan and bring to just below the boil.
Whisk the egg yolks and orange zest (the recipe says to add a second 1/4 cup of caster sugar, but I think it's too sweet) in a bowl until pale, then whisk in the cornflour. Slowly whisk in half of the hot milk mixture.
Whisk this mixture into the hot milk remaining in the saucepan and slowly return to the boil over a low heat. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.
Serve over stewed fruit or pour into pastry cases to make custard tarts.



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