Rhubarb again!

Some of you who have been following my blog will know that I am learning to love rhubarb again! This is just as well considering the amount of rhubarb I am harvesting from the allotment.

I was astounded to see the price of rhubarb when shopping the other day – two pounds for 4 or 5 stems. An incredible price when it’s so easy to grow. However, I also spotted a recipe card in the supermarket and thought I’d give it a try for Sunday dinner. It’s variation on rhubarb crumble, using strawberries.

As luck would have it, I had a bag of strawberries lurking in the depths of the freezer which needed to be used up. I had a glut of strawberries from the allotment last year and had experimented with freezing some whole strawberries. Somewhere I had read that by coating the whole fruits in sugar they kept their shape and texture. It was a partial success – and the strawberries were fine to use in this recipe.

The result was a lovely fruity base with a nutty, oaty topping – ‘rather like muesli,’ said The Husband.

Rhubarb and strawberries

Strawberries and rhubarb from the allotment

Rhubarb and strawberry crumble

Straight from the oven – rhubarb and strawberry crumble

Rhubarb and strawberry crumble

 

You can find the recipe here.

 

 

 

 

 

The verdict. The Husband really enjoyed it, even though he’s not particularly keen on crumbles (or muesli) . Unfortunately Son Number 1 wouldn’t try it, I seem to have passed on my feelings about rhubarb to him. My opinion – yes I would definitely use this recipe again. The strawberries just take the edge off the tartness from the rhubarb and I liked the crunchy topping.

One thing that slightly worried me about this recipe card was the caption at the bottom.Midweek pudding

Now, have I been a neglectful mother/wife/cook all these years? Puddings are for when I have time to cook at the weekend or for special occasions. Is there anyone out there who regularly makes midweek puddings?

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Coffee and biscotti

Treat yourself to a taste of Italy with your morning coffee!

BiscottiIt is an indulgence The Husband and I enjoy at the weekend when we have the time to make a pot of coffee and sit down to chat whilst ‘dunking’ our biscotti. Its name means that it is ‘twice baked’ and as a consequence it is a very dry and hard biscuit. The Italians dunk their biscotti in a glass of sweet wine at the end of a meal but, here in England, it is eaten as an accompaniment to coffee. I will explain how to make a plain almond biscotti, but there are lots of variations, adding lemon or orange zest, varying the nuts included and adding chocolate.

A word of advice if you intend to bake this yourself – don’t leave it in the oven for too long. On one memorable occasion I overcooked the mixture and ended up with such a hard biscuit that we were in danger of having to make an emergency trip to the dentist! Even the dogs were unable to crunch their way through it!

It is simple to make and I use a Delia Smith recipe .

Ingredients

  • 110g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 50g almonds (I use skinned almonds and leave some whole and halve the rest)
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • few drops almond essence

Biscotti ingredients

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (170 degrees).

  • Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Then add the other dry ingredients and stir everything together.
  • Next add the egg and vanilla essence.
  • Bring all the ingredients together using a spoon and then your hands. (This needs quite a lot of working with your hands to knead to a dough – don’t worry if it seems a bit dry).
  • Put mixture on floured surface and roll out into a log shape about 28cm long.

Biscotti mixture

  • Now it’s ready to go in the centre of your preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool down.

Biscotti cooling

  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 2 (150 degrees).
  • Once the biscotti has completely cooled, cut into diagonal pieces 1cm wide.

Cutting biscotti Baked biscotti

  • Place the slices on baking parchment on a baking tray and pop back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. (Take care – don’t leave them for too long or they will become very crisp)
  • Leave to cool again and then store in an airtight tin.

 

 

 

 

 

Now you can make a pot of coffee, put you feet up and enjoy! Buon appetito!

imageCoffee and biscotti