So as I am writing this in may 2019 a lot of people I know have their Rhubarb ready to harvest, So this month I have chosen Rhubarb three ways. Rhubarb fools, Rhubarb lemonade and Rhubarb gin. Rhubarb fools 700g rhubarb 2 lemongrass stalks very finely chopped to almost a powder 100ml fl oz water 140g unrefined organic sugar 110g icing sugar 150ml pint crème fraîche (preferably organic) or 1 small carton 150ml pint mascarpone cream 4 tbsp white chocolate, grated or peeled into shavings
Wash and trim, but do not peel the rhubarb. Cut into even chunks about 3cm/1¼in long and put into a warm pan with the water, sugar and the lemongrass. Cover and simmer until the rhubarb softens and breaks down - usually this takes about 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve, reserving all the juices and allow the rhubarb to cool down. Whisk the icing sugar into the mascarpone, then gently fold in the crème fraîche and half the rhubarb. Divide the remaining rhubarb among four dishes or glasses and spoon the fool mixture on top. Allow to set and cool in the fridge. Serve with the chocolate shavings on top.
Using the reserved Rhubarb syrup from your fools as well as the recipe below makes a lovely refreshing summer drink.
1kg chopped rhubarb 600g caster sugar 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest 350ml lemon juice 425ml water Combine the rhubarb, sugar and grated lemon zest into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb releases its juice and starts to break up, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour the rhubarb mixture through a fine sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. To serve, mix the rhubarb syrup with 4.25 litres of water (250ml of syrup per 750ml of water) and pour over ice.
Rhubarb Gin Everyone is loving their gin now so why not make one yourself. Obviously it won’t be ready immediately but it will be something to look forward to. 1kg pink Rhubarb stalks 400g caster sugar (don't use golden - it muddies the colour) 800ml gin Wash the rhubarb, trim the stalks and discard the base and any leaves. Cut the stalks into 3cm lengths. Put in a large jar with the sugar. Shake everything around, put the lid on and leave overnight. The sugar will draw the juice out of the rhubarb. After 24 hrs, add the gin, seal and shake everything around. Leave for about 4 weeks before drinking. You can strain the liquor off through a muslin-lined sieve and transfer to a bottle, but I often just leave the rhubarb and booze in the jar and ladle it into drinks that way. Over time the rhubarb and the gin go a much paler colour – this doesn’t look as dramatic. The upside is you that have to get through it fairly quickly!