Monday, August 18, 2008

R is for Rhubarb

I've always been a bit scared of rhubarb. Any plant that contains poisonous bits makes me nervous. But after a rather excellent crumble, I'm planning on planting some seedlings.

Apple and rhubarb crumble

Apple and rhubarb crumble

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 bunch (425g) rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup Healtheries Berry & Apple Bircher Muesli
  • 100g butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Put rhubarb, apple, sugar, orange rind and juice into a rectangular ovenproof dish (26cm x 16cm). Stir until well-combined.
  2. Combine flour and muesli in a large bowl. Add butter. Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour and muesli mixture. Stir in sugar and hazelnuts. Sprinkle over rhubarb and apple mixture.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until crumble is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Rhubarb Champagne (who can resist alcoholic fruit?)

Wash and finely chop 1kg of rhubarb.

Squeeze juice from 2 lemons, finely shred the rind and place these and the rhubarb into a bucket or ceramic bowl with 1 1/2 tbs of white wine vinegar, 750g sugar and 4.8 litres (1.25 gallons) water.

Cover and stand for 48 hrs. Strain through muslin 3 times, bottle and seal with spring loaded caps (corks will pop). Stand 2 weeks in a cool, dark place.

Rhubarb muffins

rhubarb and walnut muffins

from It’s Raining Plums by Xanthe Clay

Makes 12 muffins

You’ll need:

250g soft brown sugar
120ml vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225ml buttermilk or plain yogurt
170g rhubarb, diced into 1cm pieces
80g walnuts, chopped (optional)
280g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
40g wheatgerm

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C/400F. Grease or line a twelve-cup muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk or yogurt.

3. Stir in the rhubarb and nuts.

4. Sift over the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and add the wheatgerm. Fold together until just blended but still rather lumpy and uneven looking. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Leave for 5 minutes to cool before removing from the tin.