Ingredients

500ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
670g sugar
6g (approx two handfuls) Mexican marigold flowers (if it’s not flowering the leaves can be used instead, but the custard won't be as yellow)
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornflour
600g rhubarb, roughly chopped
juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vodka
1 preserved lemon skin, flesh and pith removed, finely diced
The Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta) is a tall bush with small, vibrant yellow flowers. To tell if it’s the right kind of marigold, crush up a leaf or flower: if it’s the right one it’ll leave your hand smelling like a fragrant mix of floral papaya, mango and bubble gum. Other varieties of marigold will not work here, but you could use scented rose petals instead.

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Instructions

1.MARIGOLD CUSTARD
2.Put the milk, vanilla, 80g sugar, a pinch of salt and the marigolds in a blender.
3.Blend for 2 minutes then pass through a fine sieve into a pot.
4.Add the egg yolks and cornflour and whisk constantly over a low heat until the custard thickens up, approx 10 minutes.
5.This is easily made vegan by replacing the egg yolks with more cornflour (¾ cup cornflour, stirred into a smooth slurry with 1¼ cups of cold water) and using a substitute milk.
6.RHUBARB SORBET
7.Combine the rhubarb with 450g sugar, 300ml water, the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, and cook until falling apart.
8.Allow to cool a bit, then blend.
9.Pass the mixture through a sieve pressing with a spatula to remove the rhubarb fibres. You should be left with a satisfyingly smooth curd.
10.Transfer to an ice-cream churner along with 1 tablespoon vodka (to stop the sorbet from freezing too hard).
11.Churn until fluffy and scoopable, then put it in an airtight container in the freezer.
12.BURNT SUGAR PRALINE
13.Line a tray with baking paper and set aside.
14.Put 140g sugar and 120ml water in a small pot.
15.Bring up to a medium heat and hold it there – you want to see enthusiastic bubbling, but if it’s threatening to bubble over it is too hot.
16.Do not stir or move the mix around at all as the sugar crystals at this stage are temperamental and to achieve a perfectly crunchy praline we need to just let them do their thing.
17.Keep an eye on it, because once the colour starts to change it’ll happen quickly.
18.When you see the edge start to turn caramel brown, swirl the pot to combine, leave for a moment and repeat.
19.Once the whole mix is brown, this is when you would normally take the praline off the heat, but we’re burning it on purpose for this dessert, so leave it a minute longer.
20.Just as the colour starts to deepen and you detect a whisper of smoke coming off it, we’ve arrived at the gates of burnt.
21.Immediately pour it out onto the tray and carefully tilt the tray to evenly coat the surface.
22.Allow to cool completely, then smash up with the back of a wooden spoon, or in a food processor. You want it to be almost a powder; this is quite bitter so you don’t want huge bits.
23.Transfer into an airtight jar (as soon as moisture finds its way into your praline it’ll start clumping up; I find keeping it in the fridge helps avoid this, too).
24.TO SERVE
25.Put two serving spoonfuls of custard into each bowl (if the custard has developed a skin, give it a quick whisk and pass through a sieve before serving).
26.Make a well in the centre of the custard and fill it with a scoop of sorbet.
27.Sprinkle with a layer of praline and a scattering of preserved lemon.
28.I had a few marigolds left, so I tossed them in, too.

Recipes & food styling Plabita Florence / Photography Tony Nyberg