Rhubarb. It's the marmite among vegetables (and yes, it's a vegetable, not a fruit.) You either love it or hate it. Well, don't dis it until you've tried these recipes – designed to turn even the most committed rhubarb avoider.
I too was once averse to rhubarb – or at least the acrid stewed variety served with globular custard. But then I inherited several square metres of the stuff (rhubarb, not custard) when I took on the allotment. It seemed rude not to try it and I'm now a born again rhubarb worshipper.
There's really only one rule when it comes to cooking rhubarb: chuck loads of calories at it. So, here in no particular order, are my top three rhubarb recipes. Go on, try something new today....
1. Rhubarb and almond cake.
This works equally well as a pudding served with cream, or as a cake. Either way, it hasn't been known to last more than a day in our house.
350g rhubarb, cut into 4cm lengths
200g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
Half teaspoon baking powder
85g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
Zest and juice of one small orange (optional)
Mix the rhubarb with 50g of the sugar and the orange zest. Leave for one hour, stirring a couple of times.
Cream the butter and remaining sugar. Add the eggs, baking powder, flour and ground almonds. Stir in the orange juice. Spoon into a 23cm round cake tin.
Drain the rhubarb and arrange over the cake
Cook at 190 degrees (170 fan oven) for about 45 minutes until done.
This is adapted from one of my favourite baking books, BBC Good Food 101 Cakes and Bakes.( I just took out the fiddly bits.)
2. Rhubarb ripple and ginger ice cream.
Possibly the best thing since Haagen Dazs and you don't even need an ice cream maker. Sod the calories, I'm breastfeeding. That's my excuse, what's yours?
175g rhubarb, washed, trimmed & cut into 2cm piece
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste or a vanilla pod
600ml double cream
tin condensed milk
Cover the rhubarb with the sugar and leave for a couple of hours. Place the rhubarb, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan and bring gently to the boil.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the rhubarb has softened and the syrup has thickened. Cool completely.
Whisk the condensed milk, cream and ginger together until it forms soft peaks. Beat in half the rhubarb mixture. Pour into a freezable container and swirl through the rest of the rhubarb mixture.
Freeze for at least 4 hours.
3. Rhubarb crème brulee
Don't be put off by the brulee bit – no blow torches necessary. Do beware if transporting by car though – I once slopped it over the footwell en route to a birthday party. Cheers Delia for this one.
3 heaped tablespoons Demerara sugar
200 ml Greek yoghurt
300 ml Extra thick double cream
For the brulee: 175g Demerara sugar
Cut the rhubarb into 2.5cm pieces. Mix with the sugar and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins, or until tender, turning half way through.
Allow the rhubarb to cool completely and drain off the juice.
Mix the cream and yoghurt and spread over the rhubarb. Then spread the Demerara sugar over the top, making sure the entire surface is covered.
Preheat the grill by turning it to the highest setting and leaving to get hot for 15 minutes.
Place the dish 7.5 cm under the heat and let the sugar melt, bubble and caramelise to a rich golden brown. This should take around 8 minutes, but watch carefully and don't allow to burn.
Cool, refrigerate, then serve.
So there you go, a trio of rhubarb recipes, fit for Come Dine With Me. What's your favourite?
And a final health and safety tip: don't eat the leaves, they're poisonous!
Mum of three growing kids and veg and trying to keep my head above the compost heap.
Blogs at: Allotment Mum