What a wonderful way to start Spring by harvesting something colourful and not just overwinter GREENS, not that I mind my Greens. It is just a welcome change in taste and colour.
I have used Rhubarb before, which has grown naturally and by naturally I mean not ‘forced’. Difference being: Natural Rhubarb leaves are Deep green in colour and have a large span in width, with stalks starting with a deep red hue from the bottom and turning green 3/4 of the way before it reaches the leaf part. Forced Rhubarb on the other hand , as the name suggests is made to grow in the ‘dark’ with little or no light, allowing the plant to put all its energy in the ‘stalk’ and not the leaf. Therefore making it sweeter in taste, tender when cooked and less stingy in structure.
Quite a few of my social media friends, reassured me that I will love the taste of forced Rhubarb then Natural. I had my doubts, until I tried the Compote made with forced Rhubarb. Wow!! I am now angry with myself! Why hadn’t I done this before? Forcing Rhubarb? Same plants but such a beautiful taste. Word of warning, never force the same Rhubarb crowns, the following year, best to rotate in a 3 section grid. And that is what I will be doing with my trusted ‘bucket forcer’. Who needs a terracotta Rhubarb Forcer (secretly…..I do).
As for the recipe, Rhubarb Compote couldn’t be easier. Since I am using forced Rhubarb, the cooking time is nearly half compared to cooking naturally grown Rhubarb.
Although not necessary, I have added a little lemon juice (this acidic reaction brings out the vibrant colour even further) to the pieces before adding the sugar.
As for the flavour, a few freshly ground Cardamom seeds and 5 or 6 grating of Nutmeg brings a welcome *change (*then just adding Vanilla extract, which is what I normally do). This last ingredient is optional; added finely grated stem Ginger (in Syrup), again only a little is needed to add a back note to the palate of flavours of Cardamom and Nutmeg.
Cooked over a low heat to allow the sugar to melt, before turning up the heat for just uder 4 to 5 minutes to soften the Rhubarb pieces, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool and will keep an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week.
This Compote makes a great topping for breakfast porridge, crepes, pancakes and even with your morning yogurt.
Cardamom & Nutmeg (infused) Rhubarb Compote
A delightfully tasting Compote; from topping Porridges to filling Pancakes.
- 150g pieces of forced Rhubarb
- 210g Granulated Cane Sugar
- 1tbsp Lemon Juice (optional)
- 1/2tsp grated stem Ginger (in syrup)
- Less than 1/4tsp Cardamom Powder
- 2 to 3 gratings of Nutmeg
- Wash, top, tail and cut Rhubarb stalks into 2 or 3cm pieces.
- Toss pieces with Lemon juice and sprinkle with Sugar.
- In a warming Pan, add all the sugar and the coated Rhubarb, allowing all the sugar to melt on a gentle heat. Add Cardamom, Nutmeg and Ginger.
- Bring to a gentle boil, until the fruit has softened when pressed lightly (this will take no more than 5 minutes).
- NOTE: cool completely in the Pan before gently pouring into an airtight jar.
- Allow to carry on infusing (preferably overnight) before using as a topping, but can be used the same day too.
- Will keep in fridge for up to a week.