It’s still a wee bit early for the supply of the outdoor Irish rhubarb, but we’ve got hold of some forced rhubarb to try out a few recipes so you’re ready to get stuck in when there’s a more plentiful supply. Incidentally, there’s a fab producer of forced (and outdoor) Rhubarb now in Dublin that you may have seen on RTE’s Nationwide, ‘Ryan’s Rhubarb’. Check out their site and social media for more great ideas with rhubarb.
Here’s a couple of our own recipes to get you going…
Rhubarb & Almond Cake
Purists will probably want nothing else except a Rhubarb tart, but this is a lovely and elegant dessert that is surprisingly nice for breakfast with a strong coffee. The addition of cream or créme fraiche with a slice is a very good idea.
- 350g Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 150g butter, softened
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 75g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 100g ground almonds
- Grated zest of 1 small orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
- 25g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Grease a round 23cm springform cake tin and line its base with baking parchment. Place the rhubarb in a bowl and cover with 50g of the sugar. Leave for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- With an electric whisk, beat together the remaining sugar and the butter, then whisk in the eggs. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds, then stir in the orange zest and juice.
- Stir the rhubarb and its sugary juices into the cake mixture and spoon into the prepared tin. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4 and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold, with softly whipped cream, crème fraiche or custard.
This is a great recipe for a myriad of uses. Essentially, it’s a lightly flavoured rhubarb compote, but it’s a less aggressive way of making it rather than running the risk of stewing it in a saucepan.
Serve it for breakfast with your porridge, granola or even french toast. For dessert, it’s delicious in a cream sponge or as a sideshow to a panna cotta or rice pudding. For the savoury buzz, it goes great with oily fish like mackerel or even roast pork instead of apples.
- 500-660 g Rhubarb cut into finger size pieces
- 125 g caster sugar
- Juice and zest of ½ an orange
- Scraped vanilla pod
- Piece of fresh ginger
- Star anise
- Stick of cinnamon
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse the rhubarb and shake off the excess water. Trim the ends and cut the rhubarb into little finger-sized pieces. Put the rhubarb in a shallow dish or baking sheet with sides, tip the sugar over, toss together, then shuffle the rhubarb so it’s in a single layer. Grate orange and add vanilla seeds and orange juice if including.
- Cover with foil and roast for 12-15 mins. Remove the foil. The sugar should have dissolved – test the rhubarb with a knife – looking for tender, not mushy. If it’s not quite there, give everything a little shake and roast for another few minutes with the foil off.