Rhubarb Ocean Gin Martini

Thanks to our never ending summer there is still loads of rhubarb knocking about, and this is probably one of the nicest ways to partake in it. This cocktail recipe was inspired by the Rhubarb Martini that my friend and all-round awesome chef, Caitlin Ruth, makes as Deasy's Restaurant in the tiny village of Ring just outside of Clonakilty.

Who doesn't love a crumble? Is it one of the most comforting and versatile of all puddings. But whatever about the fruit, it is getting a good crumble topping that can make it or break it. No one, and I mean no one, wants a soggy crumble. Likewise, if it's likely to knock out half your teeth, that's no good either! A crunchy butter granolary (not even a word) texture is what I would consider a total winner.

OK, so bear with me. Lamb and rhubarb might not be two ingredients that you automatically would put together, but trust me it's an amazing thing! I came across this ingredient pairing back in 2015 when I was still running my supper club from home, and I wanted to design a menu that was all about rhubarb and how it could be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Here's a thing you should know about me. I LOVE custard, in any shape or form it may come in.  Crème Anglaise; proper custard; custard slices, Portuguese custard tarts; banana's and custard (favourite comfort food ever) or just simply a beautiful egg custard tart.  Anyway it comes to me, I will happily devour. 

Following on from my last post about cheat ingredients where I shared my loved for ready made puff pastry, I've decided to carry on the theme for a little bit longer (if you let me indulge)!  I've long been a fan of mid-week puddings, but even with the best will in the world having the time to knock something up can be difficult!  

Rhubarb Ocean Gin Martini

Thanks to our never ending summer there is still loads of rhubarb knocking about, and this is probably one of the nicest ways to partake in it. This cocktail recipe was inspired by the Rhubarb Martini that my friend and all-round awesome chef, Caitlin Ruth, makes as Deasy’s Restaurant in the tiny village of Ring just outside of Clonakilty.

I would never profess to be as much a master at the art of cocktail making as she is, but I think that this is pretty damn good go! I’m using Gin as my martini base, but of course you could just as well swap this out for the classic vodka and vermouth combo. The other twist here is that I am using juice from raw rhubarb here so no cooking involved!

Rhubarb Ocean Gin Martini

Ingredients (makes min 4 cocktails): 

  • Liquid from 1 bunch of rhubarb, trimmed, chopped, pulped and strained
  • Per person: 50ml of Beara Ocean Gin
  • Juice of 4 sweet oranges (Jaffa/Blood)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar syrup / Agave syrup
  • Vanilla Dusting Sugar

Method:

  • Into a blitzer of some kind (smoothie maker, processor etc), add the chopped rhubarb and process until the rhubarb is completely pulped. You may need to add a dash of water to help this process along.
  • Arrange some muslin/clean tea towel over a bowl or jug and spoon out the rhubarb pulp into the cloth.
  • Gather up the ends of the cloth and pull tightly into a ball. Begin squeezing the juice out from the pulp into the bowl/jug. Get all the juice out, this might take a few minutes to do properly.
  • Once all the juice has been gathered, decant into a large mason jar or a cocktail shaker. Add in the gin, orange juice and sugar syrup or agave and add plenty of ice.
  • Prepare your cocktail glasses by running the empty orange segments around the top of the glass and then dusting with the icing sugar. Do this by placing some of the sugar onto a plate and dipping the glass rim into it. The orange juice will help it to stick to the rim.
  • Shake the cocktail mix vigorously and then strain into the prepared glasses.
  • Garnish with a small slice of orange and ENJOY!

Rhubarb & Orange Crumble

Who doesn’t love a crumble? Is it one of the most comforting and versatile of all puddings. But whatever about the fruit, it is getting a good crumble topping that can make it or break it. No one, and I mean no one, wants a soggy crumble. Likewise, if it’s likely to knock out half your teeth, that’s no good either! A crunchy butter granolary (not even a word) texture is what I would consider a total winner.

First the fruit then the crumble.

I find that cooking up the fruit first, then topping with your freshly baked crumble is the perfect way to get the balance of soft fruit and buttery crunch that is the epitomy of perfect crumble-faction (again, not even a word, but I don’t even care anymore!)

Finally, let us talk custard. My love of custard knows no bounds (as my love letter to it recently revealed – click here to read that one). And as much as I love a bit of whipped or clotted cream as the next person, if anyone deigns put anything other than custard with this crumble recipe, in the immortal words of Liam Neeson, I will hunt you down and kill you.

Aside from these few unbreakable and non-negotiable rules (ha!), let crumble (with custard..) be thy saviour. You totally deserve it!

Ingredients:

For the Fruit:

Frankly, I would say that the quantity of ingredients for the fruit base is entirely up to you. Because once you’ve had your fill of fruit and crumble, this will go just as nice over ice cream or with yogurt, over pancakes and all sorts of things. As a basic ratio though, I would say 1 bunch of rhubarb to 2 orange. Ideally blood orange, but if you are making this once that season is over then go for the sweetest orange you can get.

For the Crumble Topping:

You’re gonna love me, because this makes absolutely bucketloads of crumble topping. This is good news because it means you can totally indulge as a pud, plus it actually is delicious for breakfast (weekend breakfast, because it is a tad indulgent!), over yogurt or sprinkled over sliced banana (with custard – OMG!). Just keep it stored in an air tight container after it has completely cooled and it will stay perfectly crunchy!

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g butter – super chilled
  • 85g dark soft sugar
  • handful of nuts: pecans and sliced almonds work a treat here
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Use a processor blitz together the flour, butter and sugar to a fine breadcrumb consistency.
  • Tip out onto a lined baking tray and crumble in your pecans and almonds (or whatever nuts you have to hand).
  • Then take some of the crumble topping mixture and press clumps of it together. The butter will bind it together. Work through until it looks like the kind of texture you think would be fairly feckin’ awesome.
  • Place the crumble mixture in the fridge. This is for the butter to firm back up again so when you bake it, the nuggets don’t lose their shape.
  • Meanwhile, chop the rhubarb into 5cm portions and place in a pan with the zest of 1 orange, juice of two, a 1 tbsp. sugar and a little drop of vanilla paste (if you have it).
  • Cover with a lid and cook down slowly until completely stewed down.
  • Uncover and continue to cook until some of the excess moisture has evaporated off.
  • Take out your crumble mixture from the fridge and pop it in the oven. Cook for about 20 mins watching closely so it doesn’t burn.
  • Take out of the oven and turn the mixture careful not to break it down. Place back in the oven for a further 10 mins, but again keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
  • In a bowl, ladle out some of the fruit mixture and top with your crumble mixture. Dollop some custard over it, settle down and enjoy every last mouthful!

Of course it goes without saying that this crumble topping works well with any stewed fruit so its great for the changing fruit seasons. Likewise, experiment with flavours that go with rhubarb – a little bit of stem ginger for example would add a nice bit of sweet heat to everything!

ENJOY!

Lamb and Rhubarb Khoresh

OK, so bear with me. Lamb and rhubarb might not be two ingredients that you automatically would put together, but trust me it’s an amazing thing! I came across this ingredient pairing back in 2015 when I was still running my supper club from home, and I wanted to design a menu that was all about rhubarb and how it could be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.

For a good while I was stumped as to how to use it in a main course, but then stumbled upon a Persian dish called Khoresh using lamb and rhubarb. Tweaked and tested until I was happy with the outcome, this is a surprisingly quick dish to make and is deeply savoury. Think of a sweet and sour casserole and you won’t be too far away.

Continue reading “Lamb and Rhubarb Khoresh”

Egg Custard Tart, Blood Orange Poached Rhubarb and Syrup

Here’s a thing you should know about me. I LOVE custard, in any shape or form it may come in.  Crème Anglaise; proper custard; custard slices, Portuguese custard tarts; banana’s and custard (favourite comfort food ever) or just simply a beautiful egg custard tart.  Anyway it comes to me, I will happily devour. 

A good egg custard tart can easily be ruined by using rubbish eggs, or the wrong custard-to-pastry ratio (the pastry being incidental really, just a vehicle for holding the custard in place), and although simple it is a dessert best not rushed less you end up with lumpy custard or an overcooked tart.  Not good.

Continue reading “Egg Custard Tart, Blood Orange Poached Rhubarb and Syrup”

Super Quick Rhubarb Fool Tarts

Following on from my last post about cheat ingredients where I shared my loved for ready made puff pastry, I’ve decided to carry on the theme for a little bit longer (if you let me indulge)!  I’ve long been a fan of mid-week puddings, but even with the best will in the world having the time to knock something up can be difficult!  

Ready made pastry cases are a boon, and the recipe below for a simple, tasty filling will make you look like a mid-week-dessert-creating-rockstar!   And you’re welcome!

Ingredients (makes 6):

  • Packet of six ready made sweet shortcrust pastry cases
  • 150g of rhubarb chopped into 5cm pieces (fresh or frozen, it doesn’t matter)
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 250ml ready whipped cream
  • Small handful of freeze dried strawberry slices
  • Fresh mint leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Place the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean paste and water in a saucepan, cover with a lid and heat over a medium heat until the rhubarb has softened and cooked through to be able to mash.
  • When cooked, check for sweetness and tartness balance and add additional sugar if needed, but don’t overdo it on the sugar as you need to have the tartness of the rhubarb coming through.
  • When cooked through, spoon out into a bowl and allow to cool, and mash with a fork.
  • In a pestle and mortar, grind down the freeze dried strawberries until they are a powder (this is a really satisfying thing to do!)
  • When the rhubarb mixture has cooled slightly, scoop out the ready whipped cream and gentle fold together.  Don’t over stir otherwise the cream will collapse!
  • Spoon out generously into the pastry cases.
  • Garnish with a line of freeze dried strawberry powder and a sprig of fresh mint.

And…enjoy!

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