Going wild in the rhubarb patch....

I've been eyeing up my rhubarb patch for a couple of weeks, watching as the rhubarb plants turn into triffids. Not sure whether it's the mix of lots of spring sunshine and plenty of water or me just ignoring the plants that has generated this growth spurt. Well now the time for watching is definitely over and its time to get stuck in and start picking the rhubarb before it all turns to seed.

I found this recipe awhile ago and thought it would be a good one for the rhubarb. As per usual I've tweaked it a bit and added a few things subtracted others. But the thing I like the most about it is the fennel in the candied seeds. It adds a nice change to the flavour of the dish, and actually goes really well with the rhubarb.


Adapted from a recipe by Rodney Dunn

Candied Seeds
80 gm pistachios
1 tbsp pepitas
1 tsp fennel seeds
55 gm (¼ cup) white sugar

150 gm butter, softened and diced
110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
150 gm almond meal

300 gm good quality sweet shortcrust pastry
350 gm rhubarb, cut into 10cm lengths
2 tbsp raw sugar 

Strawberry Rhubarb Coulis

1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup diced rhubarb
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar (to taste)
½ tsp vanilla bean paste

Mascarpone Cream
200g mascarpone
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup cream, whipped
½ tsp vanilla bean paste

To Serve
200 gm strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tbsp icing sugar
borage flowers

Candied Seeds: Stir all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar begins to crystalize and cling to seeds (5-6 mins). Spread mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside to cool. Once cool blitz briefly in a food processor to make a chunky crumb. Seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Frangipane: Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale (3-5 minutes), add vanilla and almond meal, then beat on low speed until well combined (1-2 minutes). Refrigerate until required. Frangipane will keep for 3-4 days; use straight from fridge.

Tart:  Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, then line a greased 12cm x 35cm tart tin. Spread the frangipane over the pastry. Arrange rhubarb cross ways over the pastry, and scatter with raw sugar. Bake until pastry is golden and fruit is tender (35-40 minutes). 

Coulis: Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook fruit over a low heat until tender. Taste and add a little more sugar if required. Puree in a blender and then pass through a fine sieve. Refrigerate until required.

Mascarpone Cream: Gently fold all ingredients together and refrigerate until required.

To Serve: Place the tart on a serving plate and top with strawberries tossed in the icing sugar. Sprinkle with the candied seeds and dot with borage flowers. Serve warm or at room temperature with a Rhubarb Strawberry Coulis and Mascarpone Cream.  Best eaten on day of making. Serves 6 - 8.


All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2015


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