Well would you believe it – my blog is a year old today! Happy Birthday to me 🙂 🎉🎈🎁🎂
A year ago I started this blog with a recipe for rhubarb syrup (found here), and today I am continuing the rhubarb theme with some more ideas of what to do with the beautiful pink stalks of loveliness…
I think it’s quite easy to get into a rhubarb rut, most people make a crumble with it or stew it (both of which are delicious), but I was interested to see what else could be done with it. I found a guardian online article entitled ‘The 10 best rhubarb recipes’ and took inspiration from that, and also from food blog Vanilla Garlic.
So behold recipes for Pickled rhubarb, Rhubarb & custard cake, and Fennel basted pork chops with rhubarb!
recipe found & tweaked from Vanilla Garlic
Pickled rhubarb is really quick to make (apart from having to wait 2 days to eat it!) and is delicious with cheese and charcuterie – particularly goats cheese camembert which is an excellent invention that you can find in Sainsbury’s. Pickled rhubarb would also make a great foodie present for someone!
3 stalks rhubarb
Spices: 2 star anise, 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, 1/2 a cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 5 cloves, 5 peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon salt
325ml white vinegar
155g caster sugar
1 large preserving jar (at least 750ml) – sterilised
Trim the rhubarb and chop into approx 2inch chunks. Put into the preserving jar with the spices.
Put the sugar, salt and vinegar into a small saucepan and boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the mixture over the rhubarb and stir.
Put the lid on and leave in the fridge for 48hours before using. Use within a month.
Fennel basted pork chops with rhubarb
recipe found on guardian website here
Pork goes well with apple, apricot, raisins – loads of different fruits – so why not rhubarb? The fennel adds an extra dimension of flavour, and we served this with celeriac mash and green beans. This would make a nice addition to a spring dinner party!
2 pork chops
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp sea salt
finely grated zest & juice of 1 orange
4tbsp sweet sherry (or other dessert wine)
1 tbsp honey
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped (optional)
Using scissors, snip the rind of each chop at approx. 1 inch intervals. Put the fennel, coriander, pepper and salt in a pestle & mortar, and crush (but not to a powder). Rub this into each chop.
If serving with celeriac: Put the celeriac into a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for around 20 minutes until soft, then mash with butter & milk. Keep warm.
Melt a third of the butter in a frying pan with some oil and hold the pork rind-side down in the pan for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Fry the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side, then add the rest of the butter and the orange zest to the pan. Baste the chops and turn them over once.
Pour in the sweet sherry and let it bubble for a few seconds, then add the orange juice and bring back to a simmer.
Add the rhubarb to the pan, fitting it in around the pork chops, and drizzle over the honey. Cook for around 4 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft but not collapsed, and the chops are cooked.
Using a slotted spoon, take the pork and rhubarb out of the pan and keep warm. Stir the sauce and let it simmer until it has thickened, but before it turns into syrup.
Serve with the celeriac and steamed green beans.
Rhubarb & custard cake
Rhubarb & custard is a classic combination, put it in a cake and you have a surefire hit! This recipe is a cross between one from the guardian rhubarb article, and one from food blog eat, little bird. The layer of custard sank to the bottom (I don’t think I thickened it enough), and took the rhubarb with it, but it still tasted delicious and I will be making it again…
250g caster sugar
175g plain flour, sifted
25g custard powder
2½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
100-150 ml ready-made custard, heated and thickened with cornflour, then cooled
2-3 tsp ground cardamom, or the seeds from 2 cardamom pods, crushed
4-5 sticks (400g) rhubarb, cut into 12cm lengths
Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a saucepan, heat 25g of butter with the cardamom, 1tsp of the vanilla extract and 50g of the sugar. When it starts bubbling, add the rhubarb and simmer for a couple of minutes until cooked but still holding its shape. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add all the other dry ingredients and the vanilla extract and fold together to make a batter.
Line a 23cm baking tin with greaseproof paper and pour the batter in. It is quite a thick batter so may need some help from a spatula to make it even.
Spoon the custard in a layer over the batter and add the rhubarb on top, keeping some of the syrup from the pan for drizzling.
Bake in the oven for approx 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once cooled, drizzle with the remaining rhubarb syrup and enjoy!
Thanks for reading my blog over the past year – here’s to the next one!