Yeah, I know I did rhubarb for 'What's in Season' last April, but I have no qualms whatsoever about doing it again, because to me, rhubarb heralds the dawn of spring like no other ingredient. This year I intend to replace the crown that BOGG unintentionally burnt by building a bonfire on it; wasn't a particularly nice rhubarb and with over a 100 other varieties to choose from, my decision may not be an easy task! Who can resist a name like Coutt's Red Stick, Champagne or Red Prolific? I hope they are pink, sweet and suitable for our Scottish weather. The forced rhubarb seems to be earlier this year and I intend to increase its the longevity by making cordials, jams and gorgeously pink curd as well as the short term use in pies and crumbles.
Forced stems from the Rhubarb Triangle around Wakefield are my favourite but that doesn't mean the greener stems later in the season aren't any good. They can be just as sweet as the pink, it just doesn't look so pretty in a jar but don't let that put you off, this Cinderella of the veg world still has me in raptures. This month's recipe is for a curd, an extremely versatile preserve that is equally at home on a slice of toast, mixed with cream for filling a sponge or the base of a meringue pie. Personally, I like to eat it straight from the jar.
400g forced rhubarb cut into ½-inch lengths
3 large eggs, beaten
75g sugar + 1 tblspn
1 Pop rhubarb into a saucepan, sprinkle with the tablespoon of sugar. Let it steep for about 10 mins.
2 Pour 50ml of water over stems, then simmer over a low heat until disintegrated into a mush. Remove from heat, cool. You can at this point blitz until smooth if you want.
3 In a heavy based pan melt the butter then throw in all other ingredients. Stir over a low heat keeping the mixture moving until it thickens into pinky custard. Don't let it boil or you'll end up with rhubarb scrambled eggs - yuck!
4 Pour into warm, sterilized jars.
Store in fridge when cold.
What else is in my basket?
Beetroot, broccoli (purple), leeks, wild trout, sardines, mint, sorrel.
Lea writes http://OfftheEatenTrack.wordpress.com @BakersBunny on Twitter
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