The garden’s growing again and one of the first things to be harvested is always rhubarb. We got 10 stalks on Friday and on Saturday morning I spent some time in the kitchen with the rhubarb. Rhubarb is commonly combined with strawberries, but as it has been rainy and cold here for most of the past months, strawberry season is still a few weeks away. Since I had been to the granary mill on Friday, I had a stash of coconut chips just begging to be opened. So I thought I’d try out the combination and I must say, we all found the combination fantastic. It added a wonderfully refreshing note to the rhubarb. So here are the two recipes that came out of Saturday’s coconut-rhubarb infatuation.
2.2 lbs (1 kg) Rhubarb cut into one inch pieces (this is about 5 stalks)
1 1/4 cups (275 g) sugar
1/2 cup (30 g) coconut chips
1/2 Vanilla Bean pod, seeds scraped
1/4 cup (80 mL) Rum (optional)
Wash jars and sterilise them in a low oven (150°F, 90° C) for thirty minutes. While the jars are in the oven, put all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer over a low heat with the lid on for 30-45 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft, but not falling apart. When finished, ladle the steaming compote into hot jars, put the lid on and turn upside down to cool. (This creates a vacuum in the jar.) After the jars are cool, label them and store in a cool, dark place. Enjoy this compote by itself or with plain yoghurt, marscapone or ice cream as desired!
Rhubarb-Coconut Tarte Tatin
A tarte tatin is basically an upside-down pie that is oh, so yummy!
For the filling:
2.2 lbs (1 kg) Rhubarb, cut into one inch pieces
1 1/4 cups (275 g) sugar
1/2 cup (30 g) Coconut Chips
1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped
For the pastry:
1 2/3 cups (200 g) spelt flour (all-purpose may be substituted)
7 Tbsp chilled butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp sour cream
Mix rhubarb, sugar, coconut chips and vanilla in a medium bowl and let macerate for two to three hours.
While the rhubarb is macerating, make pastry. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender (or two knives or your finger tips), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add sour cream and bring together with hands. You might possibly need to add a tablespoon of cold water, depending on the thickness of your sour cream. When dough has come together, turn it out on a piece of cling wrap and pat into a one inch thick disk. Cover and store in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
To assemble: After the rhubarb has macerated, drain and reserve liquid. (You can add the liquid to either soda water or plain water for a refreshing drink. 1 tablespoon rhubarb liquid to eight ounces of water.) On the stove, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 9-inch round, oven proof pan. (You could buy a tarte tatin pan, but I think a cake pan would work just as well.) When butter is melted add the rhubarb and let simmer for about 10 minutes. While the rhubarb is simmering, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out to 10 inches. Turn off the stove and take rhubarb from the heat. Lay the pastry on top of the rhubarb, tucking the edges down into the pan. Cut four slits into the pastry to let the air out. Bake in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 20-25 minutes. Take out of oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Invert a plate on the pan and flip out the tarte onto the plate. Let cool for an additional 10-15 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream, yoghurt or ice cream.
We had friends over on Saturday and unfortunately the entire tarte was gone before I had a chance to snap a picture. (Although, I think that’s a good sign that it was quite yummy!)