Rhubarb mania part 5: rhubarb and custard pie with butter crumble

rhubarb custard and crumble pieI thought I was all out of rhubarb for the rest of the season, but a nice colleague of mine had loads in her garden and after handing out most of it to her family, she still had some left for me! It was totally delicious, you could just dip it in some sugar and eat it (I tried, so good) but I opted for this pie instead. Lately I’ve become a big fan of small individual portions, but you can of course make a big one in a 24 cm tin. This is of course one of my trusted GoodFood recipes that I will definitely be making again. Here’s how to make them:

Cut 350 g rhubarb into bite-size pieces, then put them in a frying pan with 50 g sugar and warm through just until the sugar dissolves. Immediately tip the rhubarb into a bowl with the juices and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Roll out 350 g sweet short crust pastry quite thinly and use to line your tin. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake for about 20 min until the pastry is pale golden and no longer raw.

Beat together 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 50 g sugar and 1 tbsp flour. Gradually whisk in 285 ml cream with any juice from the rhubarb (you should have a tablespoonful or two). Now spoon the rhubarb into the prepared pastry case and pour the cream mixture over. Turn the oven temperature up to 180 C and bake for about 20 min, or until the custard is very lightly set and there is a thin skin on the top. If you have any rhubarb and custard left, you can spoon it in ovenproof dishes and put it in the oven together with the pie, it makes for an excellent dessert without the pastry as well! Or use it for a rhubarb and custard cake.

Mix together 50 g melted butter, 50 g light brown sugar, 50 g porridge oats and 1/2 tsp ground ginger.  Spoon evenly over the pie. Return it to the oven for a further 15 min or until the crumble is golden and the custard set with just a little wobble. The top of the pie may have risen and cracked when you take it from the oven but don’t worry as it will settle back again on cooling. Enjoy while still warm.

Use up left-over rhubarb in a rhubarb and date chutney, rhubarb and vodka jellies or rhubarb crumble muffins.  If you have pastry left, you can freeze it or go for strawberry tarts.

Rhubarb mania part 4: rhubarb and date chutney

rhubarb chutneyBy this time, I was nearly out of rhubarb so I ended up making only half of this recipe, still good for 3 jars of chutney. Just the right amount for a father’s day present! My dad is a big rhubarb fan and part of the reason why I didn’t like it much growing up: he doesn’t have a sweet tooth, so he would fill a tart case with as much rhubarb as possible and sprinkle very little sugar over it (or at least, that’s what it looked like as a child), so I always thought it was way too tart for me. But now I was ready to try it again, and I’m a big fan! So I might add some more recipes if I can get my hands on my dad’s rhubarb… Here’s how to make the GoodFood chutney:

Chop 500 g red onions and put them in a large pan with 50 g grated fresh ginger and 300 ml red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 min. Add 500 g chopped apples, 200 g dates (pitted and chopped), 200 g dried cranberries (or use raisins instead), 1 tbsp mustard seeds, a pinch of curry powder (the recipe calls for a tbsp, but it gets very overpowering so a pinch is enough), 400 g sugar and 2 tsp salt to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 min until the apples are tender. Meanwhile, slice 700 g rhubarb into 2 cm chunks.

Stir in the rhubarb and cook, uncovered, until the chutney is thick and jammy, about 15-20 min. Leave the chutney to sit for about 10-15 min, then spoon into warm, clean jars, and seal. Label the jars when cool. Keep for at least a month before eating. Enjoy!

Rhubarb mania part 3: rhubarb and custard cake

Rhubarb and custard cakeIt is called rhubarb “mania”, you didn’t think I was going to stop at just 2 recipes did you? So here is number 3 and in the mean time I already make it more than once, it is totally delicious (as I’m sure all my colleagues will agree). As usual, my grandmother could only find one flaw in it: it was eaten way too quickly… (she is at an age where eating three pieces in one go is no longer frowned upon, she also uses her age excuse to “forget” about delicious desserts lingering in her fridge when people come to visit, just so she can have more to herself). This GoodFood recipe takes a bit more time, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s how to make it:

First, roast the rhubarb: heat the oven to 180 C. Rinse 400 g rhubarb and shake off excess water. Trim the ends, then cut into little-finger-size pieces. Put in a shallow dish or a baking tray, tip over 50 g sugar, toss together, then shuffle rhubarb so it’s in a single layer. Cover with foil, then roast for 15 min. Remove the foil, give everything a little shake, roast for 5 min more or until tender and the juices are syrupy. Carefully drain off the juices and let the rhubarb cool.

Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin. Heat the oven to 160 C. Put all but 3 tbsp of 150 ml ready-made custard (if you are not in a custard country, you can use 50 ml vanilla pudding diluted with 100 ml milk) in a bowl. Beat it together with 250 g softened butter, 250 g self-raising flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 250 g golden caster sugar until creamy and smooth. Spoon one-third of the mix into the tin, add some of the rhubarb, then dot with one-third more cake mix and spread it out as well as you can. Top with some more rhubarb, then spoon over the remaining cake mix, leaving it in rough mounds and dips rather than being too neat about it. Scatter the rest of the rhubarb over the batter, then dot the remaining custard over.

Bake for 40 mins until risen and golden, then cover with foil and bake for 15-20 mins more. It’s ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin. Enjoy!

Use up any leftover rhubarb in rhubarb crumble muffins or rhubarb and vodka jellies.

Rhubarb mania part 2: rhubarb and vodka jellies

Rhubarb and vodka jelliesI’m back to my rhubarb mania after a few weeks of radio silence… not that I was waiting for the rhubarb to grow, but we were enjoying a few weeks of holidays, which were very well deserved I might add. But of course, in the meantime we have been eating a lot more rhubarb, so here is yet another idea of how to use it, again inspired by my trusted GoodFood. In this recipe, the rhubarb flavour is quite subtle, so ideal for those who say they don’t like it (we all know they don’t mean it… if they insist, just call it “pink jelly” and casually “forget” what you put in it). Jelly is so easy to make and very refreshing as a dessert too. Here’s how to make it:

Poach 500 g rhubarb in 400 ml water with 100 g sugar until soft (about 15 min). Meanwhile, soak 4 gelatine sheets in cold water to soften them.

Strain the rhubarb liquid off into a jug and keep some of the rhubarb for serving. Stir in the softened gelatine sheets and 4 tbsp vodka and pour into 4 glasses. Chill until set. Decorate with poached rhubarb. Enjoy!

Use up leftover rhubarb in rhubarb crumble muffins. Like jellies? Try some watermelon jellies as well.

Rhubarb mania part 1: rhubarb crumble muffins

Rhubarb crumble muffinsThere is a lot to be happy about today: first of all, the sun came out (I nearly forgot what it looked like by now) – history (aka the last couple of months) has taught us not to immediately assume that summer is now here to stay, but still, it’s a good day. Secondly, it’s a Sunday followed by a bank holiday, so you can properly enjoy it, old school style, and be totally lazy about it. The third reason is that today is World Baking Day (yes, there really is a day for everything, your day will come soon too) so I’m putting on some aptly named “tart deco” nail polish to mark the occasion. And finally: rhubarb season is here! I had some trouble to get hold of any: in Belgium, everyone has some in their garden, so shops don’t bother selling it. As I don’t have a garden and my parents don’t have enough for the whole family, I had to order a whole crate of it, hence the “part 1” in the title. I’ve been slicing and dicing it all week, so lots more rhubarb recipes will follow in the coming weeks! These rhubarb crumble muffins from one of my trusted GoodFood magazines are a great and easy way to get started. Here’s how to make them:

Heat the oven to 200 C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Halve 175 g rhubarb lengthways and dice it. Put it in a large bowl and stir with 175 g  sugar. Set aside while you make the crumble topping: in a separate bowl, mix together 50 g light muscovado sugar with 50 g plain flour, 25 g porridge oats (or rolled oats) and 1 tsp cinnamon, then rub in 50 g butter with your fingertips until clumpy.

Back to your sugary rhubarb (don’t worry if it became a little bit juicy). Stir in 2 tbsp sunflower oil1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 125 ml buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, just add regular milk and a squeeze of lemon juice instead). Now, add 2oo g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and stir well.

Quickly spoon into the cases, then scatter each with a thick layer of the crumble mixture. Bake for 15-18 min until golden and a cocktail stick poked into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 min before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you don’t plan to eat them all in a matter of days (perfectly feasible though), you can wrap them one by one in tin foil and freeze them. Just take one straight from the freezer in the morning to take to work for example and it will be ready to eat by lunchtime. Enjoy!