23 Feb 2010

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

It’s a great time of year to start my blog as my very favourite ingredient is available and is fantastic, it’s Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb from the famous triangle. The quality has remained fabulous but the price has increased dramatically over the years, Yorkshire Rhubarb is prized in Paris and New York and is a great reward for the hard working Yorkshire growers, however it is not so good for the Yorkshire Chefs!!

Over the years I have used it as a chutney with a beautiful Duck Pate/Terrine, carefully sautéed with spices and raisins to go with salmon and also with Turbot in a great stew of celery, rhubarb and saffron – however, my favourite way of using it is for puddings and this humble allotment vegetable (its not a fruit remember!) works as well in a crumble served in a pub or café as to a ‘Study of Rhubarb’ in a 3 Star Michelin restaurant!

Another great way of serving it is as a Trifle of Yorkshire Rhubarb, custard, crumble and ginger ice cream – here below is my recipe – you wont be disappointed.

Try your best to follow the recipe below, more with your heart than the weighing scales – let me know if it works!

Marinate the trimmed rhubarb overnight with vanilla, ginger, sugar and a bottle of sweet cider

Braise very slowly until just tender then leave to cool naturally

Strain the rhubarb but keep the juice to make a jelly – 1 pint of it to 6 leaves of gelatine. Put the Rhubarb in the fridge and set the jelly

Next make a crumble topping – think 3-2-1 – 3 Flour 2 Butter 1 Sugar (1/2 caster 1/2 demerara ) pinch of salt, pinch of ground ginger. – simply rub in then bake till golden brown in the oven and leave to cool.

Make the custard – slightly thicker than normal – a classic crème anglais or birds custard will do – or buy in already made

Whip some cream flavour with icing sugar, orange zest, crumbled ginger nuts, ginger cake and a little diced crystalized ginger.

Assemble in a large glass bowl – first the jelly, then the cooled rhubarb stew, custard, crumble, cream, your choice 1,2 or 3 layers. Top with toasted almond, grated dark chocolate and then some diced Pontefract Cakes.

In upcoming blogs I want to talk about pubs, cafes, restaurants, our passion for food and drink, behind the scenes –what really goes on!, and the great pleasure of eating out and the great places to do it in.

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