There is a bounty of seasonal ingredients available at the market these days. Rhubarb is one of my favourite reasons to get busy baking. I scour the local farmer’s markets and neighbouring yards for the characteristic red stalks. It is a versatile vegetable (yes, Rhubarb is a vegetable), although it acts like a fruit. You can use it in so many ways: in pies, custards, compotes, chutneys, crumble and crisps and in muffins or quick loaves, as a sauce with pork or ham and many other ways.
An easy dessert can be made quickly by making a compote. A compote is an essentially stewed fruit. The natural pectin found in fruit, together with a reduction of liquid will create a textured sauce that can be used in many ways. Compotes are lovely on top of ice cream, or homemade yogurt.
Working in a large hotel often meant preparing and plating desserts many hours ahead for banquets and other events. Compotes were often used because the consistency of the compote was a far better option than placing a fruit sauce or coulis alongside the plated dessert. Compotes can be made quite easily and it will keep for several days in the refrigerator. You can also store the compote in the freezer or for longer storage, process the compote in jars according to manufacturers instructions.
A lovely plated dessert idea using this Cherry Rhubarb compote is here: Earl Grey Chiffon Mini Cake
CHEF TALK: One of my favourite ways to feature seasonal fruit is an individual cobbler, crumble or crisp. To bring this rustic dessert to a “company is coming” presentation, serve it with a classic crème anglaise or a scoop of cream cheese ice cream. You can serve this dessert hot or cold, although my preference is to serve it warm or room temperature. This recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble will have your guests asking for seconds.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE
For the FRUIT FILLING:
- 2 cups Strawberries, sliced (fresh or frozen)
- 4 cups Rhubarb, 1/2 inch dice
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Sugar, granulated (depending on tartness)
- 3 Tbsp. All Purpose flour or Gluten Free Flour Blend
For the CRUMBLE TOPPING
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour or Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Butter, soft
- 3/4 cup Pecans, chopped and toasted
Garnish: icing sugar dusted on top
- For the Filling: Toss the fruit with 1/2 cup of the sugar and test for sweetness, adding more depending on the tartness of the fruit. Add the flour and toss to incorporate into the fruit mixture.
- Place the prepared fruit into a buttered 9” baking dish or individual baking dishes.
- For the CrumbleTopping: Combine the dry ingredients and blend together. Add the butter, mixing with your fingers until you achieve a crumbly mixture. Add the pecans.
- Sprinkle the fruit with the topping. Pat lightly but do not press down.
- Bake at 350oF oven (325oF convection) until golden brown (for smaller baking dishes, this takes about 15 minutes, a large dish will take approximately 35 minutes). To check for signs of doneness, some of the fruit bubbling around the edges and the topping will be turning a golden brown.
TO SERVE: Classic Crème Anglaise is a wonderful accompaniment to the Rhubarb Crumble. You can find the recipe for this delicious sauce here.
Please CLICK the link above to access my UrbnSpice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Gluten-Free Flour Blends
- Oven Temperature Accuracy
If you try the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, feel free to leave a comment letting me know how you use this seasonal bounty. You can find me on social media – just be sure to tag @urbnspice and #urbnspice so I am sure to see it. Enjoy!
Enjoy these rhubarb recipes.
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