Rose Scented Rhubarb Jelly with Pistachio Mousse

17 March 2009

Apologies again for leaving this space for so long – while I was AWOL, the spring has arrived, the flowers have been blossoming and our cat has been moulting… We started some work on our little house a while ago – doing everything ourselves means that we only have the time after work or weekends, so the progress is very slow and we’re constantly tired, but at least we have the kitchen and bathroom intact this time, so I guess it’s not as bad as it could be…

We’ve knocked down some of the walls to make a bigger room and now trying to lay the flooring down – we’re trying to achieve this Scandinavian finish without spending lots of money, but it has turned out to be quite tricky to get right (and Maya is giving us a ‘helping hand’ in his own way)...

Anyway, I won’t bore you with all our DIY details! It’s quite sad to have been missing the gorgeous spring weather while doing this – so I was happy to manage to make this dessert with some of my favourite spring bounties, rhubarb and strawberries.

I’m fairly new to the wonderful world of rhubarb :) but since I first tried it, I’ve become a quick convert. While I love the combination of rhubarb & custard, I felt like trying something with a little twist this time, basing the flavours on this dessert I made from one of my all time favourite books, The Last Course.

In her recipe, I loved how the pistachio flavour played with the rhubarb and strawberry so I decided to lend more prominence to my favourite nut, using it as one of the main components of the mousse as well as making praline with it. I wanted the dessert as light and delicate as possible, so went for a jelly recipe using the rhubarb, which helped to preserve its clean fresh flavour – a floral hint from rose water and a little heat from ginger worked very well too. In order to balance the delicate flavour of the jelly, I’ve made the pistachio mousse lighter and more subtle than this version – it’s important to use good quality nuts, my favourites are Sicilian and Iranian.

To give it more flavour and texture, I added strawberries that are macerated with a few drops of rose water, and also pistachio praline. I love anything with praline, and I admit that I was quite mean in the picture sprinkling it just a tiny amount, but it does taste better if you are more generous with the crunch :)

Hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I did – and I’ll try to get back to your comments soon, thank you all for being patient.


Rose scented rhubarb jelly with pistachio mousse, rose macerated strawberries and pistachio praline

Serves 4-6

For the pistachio mousse

*Start by making pistachio paste, whiz 30g pistachio in a food processor until very fine, add 20g caster sugar and blend in. This makes a little more than you need for the mousse but it’s difficult to make a smaller quantity than this.

140g double cream
30g pistachio paste*
220ml whole milk
50g egg yolks (about 2 medium-large yolks)
60g sugar
3g gelatine leaves

Lightly whip the double cream and keep in the fridge. Soak the gelatine in cold water.

In a saucepan, loosen the pistachio paste with a little milk, then add the rest and bring to the boil.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until pale. Stir the warm milk mixture in, then put back in the pan and stir on a medium heat until the custard thickens and you can see a trail as you whisk. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.

Squeeze the gelatine out and melt in the warm mixture. Cool slightly.

Lightly stir the double cream again, fold gently into the custard mixture with a spatula. Pour into your choice of moulds/glasses and lightly set in the fridge.

For the rose scented rhubarb jelly

400g rhubarb
(large) thumb-sized chunk of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
130g caster sugar
3g gelatine leaves
1 teaspoon good quality rose water (my favourite is Mymoune)

Soak the gelatine in cold water.

Wash the rhubarb and trim the leaves and ends. Chop roughly (about 1cm) and place in a saucepan with the ginger, sugar and 100ml of water. Cover and simmer on a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft enough to mash.

Strain the rhubarb through a fine sieve. Squeeze the gelatine out and melt in the warm rhubarb syrup. Add the rose water when slightly cool.

Wait until the jelly has just started set – by this time, the mousse should be set enough for you to pour the jelly on top and then return to the fridge to set the jelly.

For the pistachio praline

50g pistachio
100g sugar

Roast the nuts on a roasting tray for about 8-10 minutes at 180ºC shaking the tray a couple of times.

To make the caramel, melt the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat without stirring until it turns into a golden brown caramel. Add the roasted nuts, then pour onto baking paper. Leave to set and roughly chop when cool. (Again, this is more than you need for this recipe but it is difficult to make less, so keep the rest in an airtight container until needed. Or you can keep it for longer in the freezer.)

For the rose macerated strawberries

About 10 strawberries (or more if you like)
a little sugar and rose water

Finely chop the strawberries, toss together with a little sugar and a few drops of rose water and leave to stand for about half an hour.

Food - Sweet        52 comments    Permalink

  • This looks wonderful! I am always thankful for another rhubarb recipe. We have a huge rhubarb plant in the garden of our new house and I really struggled with what to do with it last summer. I have been collecting ideas all winter and can’t wait to get started. Of course here in Alaska it won’t be ready until the end of May.

    Posted by Nicole | 17 March 2009 #
  • Welcome back dear, oh it’s been sooooo long…..
    I’ll be making your pistachio moose soon. And you just have no idea how much you inspire me. Thank you and please don’t leave too long again…

    Posted by elra | 17 March 2009 #
  • This is so pretty! I love the spring colours and that you can see just how light the mousse is. Wonderful flavour combination, too :)

    Posted by Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar | 17 March 2009 #
  • Yaayy you’re back !, everytime I check if there’ a new post I worry in case u stop blogging !! I know u must be very busy but it’s just great when u find the time to update! take care and please keep it up liz mmmm rose scented rhubarb jelly sounds like a poem !!!!!

    Posted by liz | 17 March 2009 #
  • finally you are back, keiko:)
    i’m glad to hear you are keeping well and enjoying your new kitchen and new bathroom.
    the pistachio mousse and rhubarb jelly look absolutely delicious! for a beginner like me, i think i will try your pistachio praline recipe hehe
    take care and enjoy the spring!

    Posted by shereen | 18 March 2009 #
  • now you’re back ^^
    i’m your fan for a big while.
    your photographs and editorials are wonderful, it all fulfill my world ^^

    thank you very much.

    Posted by sunbeam | 18 March 2009 #
  • photos as always are gorgeous!!

    Posted by kelsie mortimer | 18 March 2009 #
  • Hello! You have a beautiful and inspiring blog. I thoroughly enjoy reading it.

    Btw, which camera and lens do you use for your photos?

    I’ll be coming here very often!

    Thank you again.

    Posted by Cherublu | 18 March 2009 #
  • Oh yum! This sounds so good. I love the way a new season vegetable or fruit can inspire so many recipes. I have been thinking of a sort of similar combo of pannacotta topped with rhubarb jelly and strawberry icecream. Once rhubarb starts turning up in the markets in France, I’ll have to give both of these a go – and I’ll be adding your rose parfait to the list too!

    Posted by Emily | 18 March 2009 #
  • Hello

    Great Blog I will definitely bookmark your blog. I am also having a blog related to food and drinks which gives latest analysis and trends in food and drinks industry in the present recession period. I would appreciate if you could kindly bookmark my blog too.

    Posted by shobha | 18 March 2009 #
  • Warm welcome back! I too love rhubarb since I got introduced to it. I always associate this veggie (?) to wonderful Swedish summers. Will definitely give your recipe a try once we start picking in July. I love the colours of the pistachio pralines! Great fotos as always!

    Posted by Rowina | 18 March 2009 #
  • Rhubarbs are such a great part of my Swedish heritage and I do miss it here in Italy, I think I have to plant some because I have to try that flavour combination of yours, rose and rhubarb – mmmm…

    Posted by ilva | 18 March 2009 #
  • I love your blog and I’m glad to see a new post today.
    I like this lovely recipe full of spring flavors and colors, fresh and light!

    Posted by Botacook | 18 March 2009 #
  • I think your white floors look lovely! (And doesn’t Maya look elegant!) We’re still waiting for rhubarb over here but this has made me look forward to it even more!

    Posted by Rebecca | 18 March 2009 #
  • This looks amazing! May I ask about the flooring? Is it something you buy or are you doing it completely from raw materials? It’s gorgeous.

    Posted by Vicki | 18 March 2009 #
  • What a stunning dessert! Your blog is SUCH a huge inspiration to me. Please don’t desert us again :-)

    Posted by Michelle | 18 March 2009 #
  • Thanks for the simply fabulous dessert Keiko! Looks really amazing. :)

    Posted by Nur Suraya | 19 March 2009 #
  • I’t always like a dream to come to visit your blog. I love it. Thanks. Marie

    Posted by Marie_i Calicanti | 19 March 2009 #
  • Great looking dessert, its a beautiful combination with my favorite variety of nut!

    Posted by Jake | 19 March 2009 #
  • Welcome back!
    I have a question about the pistachios. Did you use fresh pistachios or dry ones? If fresh, where did you buy them, it’s impossible to buy them in shops : (


    Posted by Ales | 20 March 2009 #
  • It is always such a joy to read your blog! Can’t wait to try this new recipe.

    Thank you!

    PS. The floor looks great.

    Posted by Christine | 20 March 2009 #
  • Hello
    Great Blog I will definitely bookmark your blog. I am also having a blog related to food and drinks which gives latest analysis and trends in food and drink industry in the present recession period. I would appreciate if you could kindly bookmark my blog too.

    Posted by katha | 21 March 2009 #
  • I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Posted by Joannah | 21 March 2009 #
  • Beautiful as always, Keiko. One of my parents friends always grew rhubarb & their pies were always so tasty. We keep trying to grow our own, but it isn’t too happy yet. We’ll just have to go buy some, because this looks too tasty not to. Todd.

    Posted by White On Rice Couple | 22 March 2009 #
  • sounds delicious…i can say you have been very creative with the desserts.

    Posted by Dave Jones | 23 March 2009 #
  • Yay, updates!
    I love rhubarb. It reminds me of my childhood—we had a big rhubarb patch at my house growing up, and another at my grandparents.
    My boyfriend and I are serious strawberry-rhubarb pie fans, so I’m sure this dessert would be a hit at my house!
    Your blog is a treat for the senses.

    Posted by Meaghan | 24 March 2009 #
  • Thank you for another inspiring Seasonal blog, I love rhubarb, my Godmother always made rhubarb coffee cake that I ADORED as a child, she cut the chunks of rhubarg very large, so you really got nice chunks of it. I have a question, I have love your green tea sponge that you have use, but I wont be able to get the book that you suggest with the recipe, would it be possible to post it…if not that is ok, I know you must be very busy. Thank you for sharing your amazing pictures..for free

    Posted by eva | 25 March 2009 #
  • Yes, it’s really yummy. I also would like to add, I hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next post Keiko. :)

    Posted by Nur Suraya | 27 March 2009 #
  • Dear Keiko,

    I was just looking at the Times article of 50 Best Food Blogs…and there you were listed at number 18. It reminded me that I haven’t visited for a while. Your pictures here and in your portfolio still take my breath away.

    Lots of love,


    Posted by Sarah Canet | 27 March 2009 #
  • Photos are always beautiful and inspiring.
    Thank you so much!

    Posted by P57 | 31 March 2009 #
  • This looks almost too good to eat!

    Posted by Ms Gourmet | 1 April 2009 #
  • Hi Keiko, nice to hear from you. Thanks for this beautiful recipe! For the mousse I could use a pistacchio marzipan… As for the strawberries and rhubarb, I’ll have to way to the next spring.
    Enjoy the season and good luck with the work at home. :)

    Posted by Marcela | 2 April 2009 #
  • such amazing photos…

    Posted by justcooknyc | 4 April 2009 #
  • What a beautiful verrine! Love the fresh ginger and rose petal water with the rhubarb. Such a lovely, fragrant combination. Also love the textural and color contrasts.

    Hothouse rhubarb has just arrived in the Northwest. Field rhubarb is probablhy a couple of weeks away. Can’t wait to dive into it.

    Posted by LunaCafe | 5 April 2009 #
  • This is a beautiful site and a lovely post. I don’t know much about rhubarb, either, but this is an alluring way to learn more about it! Delicious!

    Posted by Kim Byer | 5 April 2009 #
  • Lovely Keiko. Funny as I also made rhubarb verrines yesterday. I hope things are good for you!

    Posted by bea | 8 April 2009 #
  • We’d like to be there in the soft atmosphere with your ‘verrines’’re very talented. Thanks

    Posted by Dada | 8 April 2009 #
  • What a delicate little dessert, it looka wonderful.

    Posted by jeena | 8 April 2009 #
  • O, how lovely!
    And your cat is quite photogenic!

    Posted by Joyti | 10 April 2009 #
  • This is so interesting! And good luck on the DIY projects—the floors look lovely!

    Posted by Rebecca | 11 April 2009 #
  • Welcome back—glad you are back. Lovely photos and recipes!!Doing renovations is so time consuming especially when you do them yourself—Glad you are back. Happy Holiday to you.

    Posted by Melanie | 12 April 2009 #
  • The flavours here look terrific — rhubarb and ginger are themselves a great combination.

    I’ve made praline before to give a little crunch to soft desserts, but found that while the flavour worked well, the crunch of the solid caramel was too harsh.

    Posted by Tim | 13 April 2009 #
  • Hi all, thank you so much for your kind notes – hope you enjoy the rhubarb season wherever you live!

    Cherublu – I use a Canon 5D with a 90mm macro lens for most food shots.

    Vicki – we bought pine flooring which was unfinished – then we painted and oiled it.

    Ales – I buy dried ones and I don’t think I’ve seen fresh ones…

    Eva – you can try this sponge recipe I posted here;

    Tim – I love praline so much that I never felt it was too harsh :) Maybe the ratio of your caramel to nuts was too high? And if you chop relatively fine it should be OK.

    Posted by keiko | 13 April 2009 #
  • Hello Keiko!
    I’ve just seen your blogs, the english and japanese ones. Your pictures are simply beautiful!! I love your way of working… I have a photo blog and my preference goes to details too!!
    Many many compliments and CIAO from Italy!!

    Posted by chiara | 16 April 2009 #
  • Oh my goodness these look amazing and the photos are just fab too.

    Posted by uk chefs forum | 18 April 2009 #
  • Love the rhubarb and pistachio combination. The Last Course is a must for anyone interested in pastry.

    Posted by gastroanthropologist | 18 April 2009 #
  • hello from berlin,

    your photos are so poetic – a real inspiration!

    good luck with the house project!

    Posted by kristina // no penny for them | 18 April 2009 #
  • great u are back!
    the photos are soooooooo good

    Posted by Recipe man | 21 April 2009 #
  • wow this is my first time to see pistachio praline. nice :)

    Posted by ladyironchef | 22 April 2009 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much again for your kind notes.

    Gastroanthropologist – I totally agree with you :)

    Ladyironchef – you can use any nuts, I just love munching them :)

    Posted by keiko | 27 April 2009 #
  • your site is a real inspiration, thank you so much!

    Posted by david | 3 September 2009 #
  • I just made your mousse with rose-water flavored strawberries – it is wonderful! Thanks so much for the recipe and the beautiful inspirational photos. Mine does not look as good, but I still love it :-).

    Posted by Cooking Rookie | 20 March 2010 #

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