As dark days are replaced by sunny skies, the arrival of spring comes with a new crop of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
And with the British rhubarb season running anytime between February and June, early spring hails the return of the vibrant and tart-flavored vegetable.
As its neon pink stems fill gardens and farmer’s markets across the country, now is the perfect time to buy a bunch and cook up a storm.
Whether you fancy making a classic crumble or are looking for something a little more quirky like a zesty fruit pot, OK!‘s Victoria Gray rounds up some of her favorite season rhubarb recipes…
Rhubarb and custard tart
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- 375g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
- 5 eggs, (1 beaten, for brushing, and 4 yolks)
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split and the seeds scraped out and reserved
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 25g plain flour
- 200ml double cream
- 350ml whole milk
- 400g forced rhubarb, cut into 4cm pieces
- Grease a 25cm fluted tart tin with butter and line with the shortcrust pastry. Chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas mark 6. Lay a sheet of baking paper over the pastry, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and lift out the paper and beans. Return the tart case to the oven for 10 minutes, until golden.
- Brush the inside of the pastry case with the beaten egg and then return it to the oven for a further minute to dry.
- To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks with 60g of caster sugar, the vanilla seeds, cornflour and plain flour in a mixing bowl.
- Add the double cream and milk to a saucepan and heat until just boiling.
- Slowly pour the milk and cream on to the egg mixture in the bowl, whisking briskly.
- Clean the saucepan and return the egg and milk mixture to it. Place on a medium heat and whisk until it thickens. Remove from the heat and allow it to fully cool.
- Add 300ml water and the remaining 200g of sugar to a wide, shallow pan.
- Place over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to low and carefully add the rhubarb pieces.
- Poach for 5-10 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender but still its shape. Then turn off the heat and allow the rhubarb to cool in the syrup for a couple of hours, or ideally overnight.
- To assemble the tart, spread the custard evenly over the pastry base. Top with the rhubarb pieces and drizzle over a little of the syrup. Chill until ready to serve.
Rhubarb, ginger and lime pots
- 600g rhubarb, sliced into small pieces
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus 1 tbsp lime juice
- 30g caster sugar
- 200g ginger nut biscuits
- 50g butter
For the lime cream topping
- 300ml double cream
- 2 tbsp mascarpone
- 20g caster sugar
- Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
- 3 tbsp pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
- Put the rhubarb, lime zest, lime juice, and sugar into a saucepan. Heat for 2 minutes on medium-high and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes until the rhubarb is just tender.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, place the ginger nut biscuits in a ziplock freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin until they become crumbs.
- Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat until melted, remove from the heat and add the ginger nut crumbs and mix well to coat. Allow to cool.
- Make the topping by putting the cream, mascarpone, sugar, and lime zest into a bowl and beat until fully combined. Stir in the lime juice, until the mixture is glossy.
- Spoon the crumbled ginger nuts into the bases of four pretty tumblers or jam jars. Add the rhubarb and top with the lime cream.
- Sprinkle on some chopped pistachio nuts and chill for an hour before serving.
Waffles with rhubarb compote
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For the waffles
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tsp caster sugar
- 1 large free-range egg
- 200ml milk
- 40g butter, melted
- 4 drops vanilla extract
For the rhubarb compote
- 175g forced rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
- 1 small blood orange, juiced
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split
- Heat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Gradually beat in the egg, then slowly add the milk, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk together for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth and silky batter.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas mark 4.
- Using a ladle, pour the batter into your waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat until all the batter has been used up, placing your finished waffles on a baking tray as you go.
- Once all the waffles are made, transfer them to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through and crisp up while you make the rhubarb compote.
- Place the rhubarb, orange juice, sugar and vanilla pod in a medium saucepan and bring gently to the boil.
- Once bubbling, reduce the temperature and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat, take out the vanilla pod, stir and allow the compote to cool for a couple of minutes before spooning over the waffles.
Rhubarb oat crumble
For the crumble
- 100g plain flour
- 50g rolled oats
- 50g jumbo oats
- 25g flaked almonds
- 100g butter, cut into cubes
- 50g golden caster sugar
For the filling
- 175g forced rhubarb
- 100g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
- Put the flour, both types of oats, flaked almonds, butter and sugar in a bowl and press together with your fingers into a crumble texture. Sprinkle on to a lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the rhubarb into pieces and place in an ovenproof dish with 4 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle with the sugar and roast for 10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft but still holding its shape.
- Remove from the oven. Scatter the topping over the roasted rhubarb. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden.
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