I love this time of year when the rhubarb appears in the shops. I think my love is increased because it is one of the few fruits that is truly seasonal and no-one can produce it all year round. So when it appears on the shop shelves you have to snap it up and make all those favourite puddings and drinks.
Here are a couple that I have tried this year and have loved:
Rhubarb and Ginger Shrub
(I was taught how to make this on my recent cocktail making course.)
1 kg chopped rhubarb or forced rhubarb
10 cm long piece of ginger
500g caster sugar
50ml organic cider vinegar
How to prepare:
Chop the rhubarb and ginger into small pieces and combine in a large jar. Cover with the sugar so there is a layer of it & all the content is covered with no holes.
Leave this uncovered in room temperature for at least 36 hours and then combine in a saucepan. Bring to simmer (do not boil) until the rhubarb is very tender.
Strain through a cheesecloth or muslin into a clean bowl and add the vinegar. Decant, when cool, into bottles that seal.
This Shrub tastes amazing when combined with gin or vodka and soda. Alternatively have it with Seedlip and still or sparkling water or even over ice cream.
Baked Rhubarb with Orange (Xanthe Clay)
120g caster sugar, or as needed
2 slices fresh root ginger (optional)
How to prepare:
Preheat the oven to 180℃/Gas 4.
Remove half the zest of the orange with a vegetable peeler and slice it into needle-fine strips. Juice the orange. Set the juice aside.
Cut the rhubarb into 4cm lengths and lay them in a single layer in an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the sugar and pinch of the orange zest strips, and tuck in the ginger slices if you are using it.
Cover with a lid or foil and bake for at least 30 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just tender but not collapsing – check on it half way through.
Stir in the rest of the orange zest, and add the juice of the orange gradually to the mixture, tasting, unitl it is right for you. Add a little more sugar too, if you feel it needs it.
Serve at room temperature. If you love ginger, you could also add some slivers of ginger in syrup or crystallised ginger. The mixture makes a fantastic topping for a Pavlova.
For lots more recipes using Rhubarb click HERE.
To purchase Xanthe Clay’s seasonal cookery book – It’s Raining Plums – from Amazon click HERE.