Monday, April 16, 2012

R is for rhubarb

The rhubarb on the allotment is flourishing. In Finland rhubarb and strawberries are in season together and I have lovely memories of rhubarb and strawberry compote and rhubarb and strawberry juice from being little. In England the rhubarb is good couple of months ahead of strawberries so I've had to find some new ways to use it - apart from the universal use of using the huge leaves as a pretend umbrellas and runnign around in the rain with them...and it might not be as socially acceptable t do it when you are 30+ than when you are 3+...

One of the best recipes I've found is a yummy rhubarb and cinnamon cake from a Riverford recipe leaflet send with my veggie box ages ago.

It's perfect recipe. Eat it hot with some custard or ice cream and it's a wonderful pudding. Eat it cold with some cream or even on its own and it is equally good. You can serve it any way you like and it always tastes good!

Here's the recipe if your taste buds are tempted:
60 gr butter (virtually 'fat free')
350 gr soft brown sugar (but not sugar free)
3 eggs
few drops of vanilla essence (optional)
300 gr self raising flour (for those in Finland, just normal flour + 1tsp baking powder)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp of ground cinnamon (I usually put a bit more)
250 ml natural yogurt (the recipe uses creme fraiche but I never have that in the house when needed!)
zest + juice of 1 orange
400 gr rhubarb (4 stalks) cut into 1cm pieces

topping 3-4 tbl spoons of brown sugar mixed with one tsp of cinnamon (I usually forget this)

Oven temperature 180c for 75 minutes

It's simple, mix together butter and sugar, add eggs one at the time + vanilla, add flour, mix a bit, add orange juice, zest & yogurt, mix a bit more. Then mix in the rhubarb, tip in in a tin (24cm, deep round cake tin), sprinkle with the topping, stick it in the oven and wait. I usually check the cake after an hour or so to make sure it doesn't get too dry. It's ready when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Take it out, eat some when its warm and save some for later if you can :) Enjoy!

PS. I have noticed myself becoming a bit of a rhubarb snob, looking very condescendingly at people in the supermarket who are buying rhubarb, which always look so dry and shrivelled compared to mine...

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