Rhubarb Season

Rhubarb Season

by Sharon Maher on March 11, 2014

in Baking, Food, Recipes

West Yorkshire is the home of forced rhubarb and this is the rhubarb season where it is starting to appear in the shops.

These beautiful long, slim, pink candy sticks of  forced rhubarb are grown in the dark and harvested from January through to March.


I always look for bright pink, firm sticks not the floppy ones. I remember as a child picking it from under an old tin dust bin – it tasted fabulous dipped in sugar and eaten as soon as it was picked.  The leaves are toxic so must be discarded. Forced rhubarb is very tender so there is no need to peel it, just wash and trim the ends.

I like it diced for crumbles, though I do like it to be tangy, so not too much sugar for me. In the summer months I like to mix my garden rhubarb with strawberries for a pie filling.

Rhubarb fool is another one of my favourites and easy to make, but I also just love to make chutney with it, as it goes so well with meat and even fish. Although I have several recipes for rhubarb, here is one of my favourite rhubarb recipes at the moment, Nigella’s rhubarb tart which I serve as a Sunday treat.

Rhubarb tart

A Simple Rhubarb Tart

Ingredients

Rhubarb filling:
1kg rhubarb
300g caster Sugar

Cream Cheese filling:
200g cream cheese
200ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp rum

Glaze:
4 tbsp rhubarb juice reserve from strewing

Pastry:
150g plain flour
1tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter, cold & diced
85g cream cheese, cold & diced
2-3 tbsp double cream

Method

You will need a deep flan dish – 23/25 cm and some baking beans or dried beans.

  1. Heat the oven to 190 C Gas 5
  2. Wash and trim rhubarb into 2cm pieces, place in a shallow ovenproof dish, toss in the caster sugar, cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes until tender. Leave to cool and strain, keeping the juice.
  3. Place a baking sheet in the oven.
  4. Use a food processor to make the pastry, add the ingredients, a quick pulse to mix them, add the diced butter and cream cheese, pulse until it resembles bread crumbles. Bind with the double cream and a quick pulse, make into a ball, cover in cling film and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes roll out on a floured board and line your flan tin, put it back in the fridge for a further 20 minutes.
  6. Line the flan case with foil, add the baking beans and place in the oven on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and baking beans, and bake the flan case blind for a further 5 minutes or until it is golden brown and baked through. Leave to cool.
  8. To assemble the tart, reduce the reserve juice by boiling it for a few minutes until it is syrupy, do not leave it.
  9. Whisk the cream and cream cheese until it is mixed and slightly thick. Do not over beat.
  10. Add the sugar and rum and mix until it is a soft consistency.
  11. Fill the tart case with the creamy mixture.
  12. Top with rhubarb pieces.
  13. Drizzle over the glaze.
  14. Serve with a drop of single cream.

 

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This post was written by...

– who has written 97 posts on Norah Sleep Living.

Sharon Maher is a wedding and party planner, event venue stylist and also writes the blogs Norah Sleep Wedding Style, Norah Sleep Living Style and My Wedding Marquee about weddings, food, fashion, style and things that inspire her in life. Find her on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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