Tis the season for rhubarb! I love rhubarb. I love its pink colour, its funny name (roo-barrrrr-b), its vegetable confused fruitiness and above all its flavour.
The flavour of rhubarb is really quite unique. It’s sweet, sour and sharp all at the same time. A sort of cross between a grapefruit and a blackcurrant is that makes sense. You can cook rhubarb in a manner of ways and serve it with both sweet and savoury dishes, but my preference is always for sweet. I got some sticks of rhubarb over the weekend from someone in the village, who was selling it freshly picked from their own garden. After pondering what to do with it for a while, I decided to simply cook it and top it with a scone-like cobbler topping for a quick and tasty dessert.
I personally love my rhubarb baked in the oven so that it retains its shape, while the juices bubble away and intensify in flavour. I also like my fruit to be on the slightly sharp side of sweet. I admit it does need a little sugar, but I like to taste the fruits natural flavour first and then the sweetness to come later, rather than feel I’ve just eaten a spoonful of jam. Not everyone in my family agrees with me, my mum likes her fruit sweet and so we often disagree to the right level of sweetness, but the easiest thing to do it just to taste as you go along and adapt accordingly.
Rhubarb also pairs wonderfully with other flavours, strawberries, rose and ginger being my favourites (not all together though!) As strawberries are not in season, I went the ginger route by adding some sticky stem ginger and a little syrup to the rhubarb base and some ground ginger to the cobbler topping. This made for a lovely warming note to the pudding, with fiery little bursts of ginger heat every time I bit into a chunk of the stem ginger.
Delicious eaten hot, straight from the oven and served with lots of fresh custard!
Individual Rhubarb and Ginger Cobblers
7-8 sticks of rhubarb
1 large ball of stem ginger in syrup
2-4 tbsp caster sugar (adapt to taste)
4 tsp stem ginger syrup (from jar)
2 tbsp white teff flour*
2 tbsp brown rice flour*
1 tbsp gram/chickpea flour*
¾ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Heat oven to 200C.
Wash and chop the rhubarb into 1-2cm chunks, depending of thickness. Slice the ball of stem ginger into small pieces. Place the ginger and rhubarb into a small deep baking tray and scatter over the caster sugar.
Cover the top of the tray with foil and bake for 30minutes, until soft and juicy.
Divide the cooked rhubarb between 4 ramekins and drizzle over 1 teaspoon of ginger syrup over each, along with any of the rhubarb juices.
Increase the oven temperature to 220C and make the cobbler topping.
Measure out the flours, baking powder, sugar and spices into a small bowl. Make sure your butter is soft, but not melted, and then work into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs.
Add the milk, a little at a time, until you have a thick batter consistency. It should resemble a thick pancake batter and hold its shape on a spoon. It’s ok to be a bit lumpy.
Spoon a couple of heaped teaspoonfuls of the batter over the top of the rhubarb (you shouldn’t cover the top completely).
Scatter over a little extra caster sugar and bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and lightly golden in colour and the rhubarb juices are bubbling up around the edges.
Allow to cool for 3 minutes before serving.
Eat hot with cream, custard of ice cream
*Note: If you don’t have all these flour you can substitute it with 5tbsp of your own flour mix or use plain flour if not making GF