Tag: rhubarb

rhubarb ginger sponge pudding

rhubarb ginger pudding

We were invited to Sunday lunch with some friends at the weekend, as Piers had a new toy to play with, and he wished to mandolin lots of potatoes to make a dauphinoise. It would have been churlish not to pop over and help them out with the consumption of same. So we did. As an aside, Piers is a damn good baker, and I hope his plans to start doing it commercially start to come together soon, once he can beat the beasts of bureaucracy into submission.

Anyway. I’m not great at puddings, and my repertoire is small (ooh er, missus), but I nipped or popped into the greengrocer on Friday to see if anything inspired. And there was Yorkshire rhubarb, so I bore it home. We almost always make a crumble with rhubarb, but I wanted to do something different, so here’s what I did.

450g forced rhubarb, cut into 1in/2.5cm lengths
110g soft brown sugar
110g butter
2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or more, if you like things gingery)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
70g ground almonds
2 eggs
50g self-raising flour (or plain, and ½ teaspoon of baking powder)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Spread the rhubarb out in an ovenproof dish (one about 6x8in/15x20cm). Now, I never add sugar to rhubarb, but if your tooth is sweeter than mine, scatter some brown sugar over the fruit.

Cream the butter and the rest of the sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the spices, almonds and then eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour (if you are making this in a food processor then just pulse in the flour, stopping as soon as it is amalgamated).

Spoon the mixture on top of the rhubarb, spreading it out lightly. I scattered some flaked almonds over the top too, as an afterthought.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and more or less cooked through. It will still be a bit gooey in the middle, which just makes it better. If you let it sit for an hour (just about the time to drive from Hull to Doncaster, as it happens), it’ll firm up a bit more.

We warmed it through again when we got there, and ate it – all of it, I’m ashamed to say – with double cream.

Which after roast beef, pommes dauphinoise, cabbage and peas and beans was quite piggish. Particularly as we followed it with two sorts of cheese, two sorts of crackers, and some grapes. But, in our defence, Pete and I didn’t eat again until Monday lunchtime …

rhubarb, rhubarb

rhubarb, rhubarb.

A friend this morning very kindly brought me a huge box of rhubarb, as she has a glut of same on her allotment.

I haven’t done much winemaking of late, but I shall be turning a goodly portion of this rhubarb into alcoholic beverage, because rhubarb wine is just gorgeous. I’m going to try this recipe, I think.

I also see a rhubarb crumble or two in our very near future 🙂

roasted veg

roasted vegetables

We love roasted veg, but for some reason we haven’t had them for ages and ages, so I rectified that last night.

I cut up a courgette, a red pepper, a red onion, half of a huge sweet potato and about four carrots, tossed them in olive oil, then … looked at them for a bit and wondered what to flavour them with. My eye lit upon the test tube of fennel seeds and I sprinkled some in. Further inspired, I added sesame seeds, then threw caution to the wind and hurled in some pumpkin seeds too. A dash of shoyu completed the dish, with some ground black pepper.

Roast veg always take longer than I expect them too, so this time in a weaselish cunning, I gave them about four minutes in the microwave first, then bunged them in a fan oven at 190C for about 50 mins. They were utterly delicious.

We tried very hard not to eat them all, and just managed not to – there was a small bowl of kidney beans in the fridge left from a marathon chilli making session on Sunday, so I have combined the leftover veg with the beans, and that’ll make a nice lunch today with some of the chapatti mounting (see previous).

rhubarb and pearsWe ate the veg unaccompanied,  as there was a pud of rhubarb and pear crumble. It was just going to be rhubarb, but there were some pears in the fruit bowl getting a little tired. Chopped up the fruit – just cored the pears, didn’t bother peeling them. Simmered with a little water and some fresh grated ginger for about 6-7 minutes – no sugar added, as we don’t have a very sweet tooth.

Made a crumble topping with 6oz wholemeal flour, 3oz butter and 2oz demerara, whizzed up in the Magimix, then added 2oz of porridge oats and pulsed.

Bunged it in the oven with the veg (oh, the joys of a fan oven 🙂 and baked for about 40 minutes. Very nice.

Sunday dinner from leftovers

As my loyal reader will recall, we had roast belly pork for New Year’s Eve dinner; it must have a hulking great porker, because not even our well known for trenchering friends could finish it off, and I put the remainder in the freezer.

I pulled it out of the freezer this morning, together with a tub of red cabbage.  I warmed it slowly in a shallow Le Creuset casserole with a lid, and we ate it and the cabbage accompanied by roast potatoes, and a gravy made from chopped shallots and sage, apple juice and veg stock.

I made three gallons of rhubarb wine before Christmas, from a *huge* tin of rhubarb from Makro.  The last of the rhubarb went in the freezer, so I dragged that out too this morning to make a crumble.

And as I looked in the fridge for the butter for the crumble topping, I spotted the last of the brandy butter I’d made for the festive season, of which, as usual, we’d used very little.  Liberated, possibly, by tasting the rhubarb wine before I racked it today, and indeed the apricot wine before I bottled it, I decided to use it up in the crumble topping; “how hard can it be?” I asked myself.

I  couldn’t tell you how much of other ingredients I used – I bunged it in the Magimix with brown sugar and flour and some porridge oats until it looked about right.  Put the rhubarb in a pyrex dish, sprinkled it with ground ginger and bunged the topping on top.  The brandy was barely discernable, but you could tell *something* was there.  I’m not saying I’d do it again, but at least the brandy butter is gone!

when the off licence gives you rhubarb …

We have a wonderful off licence in our village – we go in there and order wine, they deliver it, we give them a cheque. Works beautifully. I popped in there last week, and they asked where P was – “planting a rhubarb crown”, I said. Which he was. At which point, they invited us to pop over and collect some of their rhubarb crop the following day. P did so, and came home with many sticks.

We made half into a crumble – standard sort of thing, with grated fresh ginger and honey (rather than sugar) in the filling, and a topping substituting 2 oz of hazelnuts for 2 oz flour. Lovely.

With the rest, I made a steamed sponge pudding – very nearly, but not quite, one of my rare slow cooker miscalculations.

I cooked the rhubarb with a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar and a teaspoon or so of ground ginger a gentle heat for 2-3 mins until it was just starting to soften. Put that in the bottom of a greased 2 pint pudding bowl.

In the food mixer, creamed 125g each of butter andcaster sugar. Added 2 eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla essence, 175g plain flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder (I never bother with self raising flour).

Put this mixture on top of the rhubarb, then covered it with a double thickness of greased tin foil (mind those alien rays!) and secured it with a red rubber band, courtesy of the Royal Mail.

Put it in the slow cooker, topped up with boiling water from the kettle and left it for about 3 hours. Which wasn’t quite enough.  It was lovely, but could have done with a bit longer – probably another 45 minutes or so.  If you were cooking it on the hob I think it would want about 90 minutes.

Turned it out carefully, onto a place on a baking tray, for fear of hot rhubarb spillage.  Which there was.

rhubarb crumble

rhubarb crumble

As always, bits of this are fairly random.  Serves 4 if they’re not overly greedy.

Take 3 good sticks of rhubarb, clean, trim, and chop into chunks.  I do mine in different sizes so you get a different texture when it’s cooked.  Some might say this was accidental, but it’s not.  No really.

Put into an ovenproof dish, and add a couple of dessertspoonsfull of elderflower cordial.  Or a bit more – I just went sloosh.  Sprinkle with some golden granulated sugar – probably the same sort of quantity, but we don’t like stuff too sweet.

In a food processor,  put:

150g plain flour
100g porridge oats
100g butter
100g soft brown sugar

Blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Keep an eye on it, but don’t worry if it goes a bit lumpy; you can always recrumble it with your fingers.

Spread this over the rhubarb, put in a pre-heated oven at gas 4 / 180C for about 45 minutes.  Best eaten warm, ideally (in our view) with good vanilla ice cream.

Sunday supper

asparagus stir-fried with ginger and red chilli rhubarb and ginger sponge pudding

As previously noted, we picked up the first local asparagus of the year on Saturday; with it, we cooked one of our favourites – asparagus stir-fried with ginger and red chilli. It sounds a terrible thing to do to fresh asparagus, I know, but trust me … it really is glorious.

We followed this with a rhubarb and ginger sponge pudding – bit piggy, really, but it is Sunday. I discovered the wondrous combination of rhubarb and fresh ginger a couple of years ago; I was following a recipe that called for stem ginger in syrup, and I thought it would be too sweet, so lobbed some finely minced fresh in instead. We’ve never looked back!

If you don’t have any ginger in the house (and you *should*, of course) remember that elderflower works wonderfully well with rhubarb too, so a splash of elderflower cordial would make a very good substitute, although I’d cut the sugar down a little in that case.

Rhubarb is a Very Fine Thing indeed.