Rhubarb is a funny one. It is a vegetable but it really does think it is a fruit. Although there are more and more savoury recipes out there nowadays more fitting to its veggie status, a quick search of rhubarb recipes will mostly yield a vast array of crumbles, fools and jam recipes. All of which are utterly delicious but all of which my entire family completely eschew for reasons best known to themselves. However I love the stuff and really can’t bear to be defeated in this one. As far as I’m concerned there are no foods you don’t like, only the ways of preparing them. Apart from the devilishly bitter radicchio. The least said about radicchio the better. Just take it from me I have tried. But I digress. Getting back to the point; it follows then that I just haven’t happened upon a way of serving rhubarb yet that they all approve of. Or so I thought.
Now I happen to know that some of the savoury recipes using rhubarb are very tasty and I’m not knocking them, but when you are trying to introduce anybody to the relatively tart flavour of rhubarb dessert options are possibly best to start off with. Yes, it will need to be sweetened up (slightly) but I think it’s worth it when you think of just how good for you rhubarb actually is. Unexpectedly (some might say) full of calcium, as well as lutein to keep your eyes healthy, vitamin K to help your blood clot amongst other things as well and those powerful anti-oxidants anthocyanins. Of course if you prep it this way you’ll need to cook it too so you’ll be getting a healthy dose of lycopene in there too (which raw rhubarb won’t give you). And by eating rhubarb done my way you’ll be upping your ginger intake with all those powerful anti-inflammatory gingerols too.
I’m not giving much away in the title of this one; it’s true. But to be honest when I started making this it wasn’t really sure what it wanted to be. I had a no bake cheesecake at the back of my mind; simple and quick for a mid week treat but I do find it hard to shake off the rhubarb fool desserts of my youth. And of course, the flax/ chia seed pudding craze that seems to be sweeping the planet. So I opted for all three, which turned out to be a great decision. And then put it in a wine glass to give it that fancy look. The egg white kept it light, almost mousse like whilst the cream cheese and natural yoghurt gave it a slightly richer feel. My children loved it as it was but after a quick exit poll reported that they also wouldn’t think twice about wolfing it down again without the biscuit base or syrupy topping. Good to know if I wanted an albeit ever so slightly quicker option, a gluten free choice or in the unlikely event that I was catering for a no-carb diner.
On a final note, feel free to make this in one large bowl; it would work just as well and possibly serve one or maybe two more. Or try varying the fruit if you haven’t got enough rhubarb. My strawberries haven’t dared make an appearance yet but if they had I really wouldn’t hesitate to to mix a few into the cooked rhubarb at the puréeing stage.
Foolish Rhubarb and Ginger Pots Recipe
For the rhubarb compote:
5 tbsps fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange blossom water
2 tsps brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 ball stem ginger
1 tbsp stem ginger syrup
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C.
Wash and slice the rhubarb into pieces around 3 cms in length, line up in a baking dish then mix together all the other ingredients except the stem ginger syrup and stem ginger and pour over the rhubarb.
Bake for 20 mins or until the rhubarb is soft but keeping its shape.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, purée the whole lot with the stem ginger and its syrup in a food processor.
For the fool/cheesecake:
100g cream cheese
100g natural yoghurt
4 tbsps honey
3 tbsps milled golden flax seed
2 egg whites
2 ginger biscuits per glass
Break up the biscuits roughly and throw them into the glasses/ containers you’ll be using.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they hold their shape.
Blend together the cream, yoghurt and honey until there are no more lumps left.
Pour in the rhubarb and ginger compote and flax seeds and mix well again to combine.
Gently fold in the beaten egg whites then spoon about 4 tbsps full into each glass over the biscuits. Refrigerate.
For the syrup topping:
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsps fresh orange juice
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water
Mix together the above ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil slowly.
Let bubble away for three minutes, then let cool slightly.
When it has cooled off drizzle some over each of the pots and bung them back in the fridge agin until you are ready to serve.