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Fast growing in the garden, it's lovely for lots of different recipes from classic rhubarb tart to ice cream.

Rhubarb is making an appearance in my Traditional Irish class in the form of a tart and in the Easter Baking class I’ll be making rhubarb and ginger scones.

This week, I’m making rhubarb ice cream and rhubarb and hazelnut crumble. You can find the recipes below. For me, rhubarb is best in spring and by the time the summer fruits including strawberries, start to appear I’m finished with rhubarb for another year.

Absolutely delicious and well worth a go.

Serves 6
Wee Buns Cookery School

Ingredients

  • 350ml whole milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar

Rhubarb Puree

  • 500g rhubarb
  • 90g caster sugar

Method

  1. For the best flavour use organic milk and free range eggs.
  2. Place the cream and milk in a heavy based saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds, add these and the pod to the pan.
  3. Slowly heat until scorching point is reached (where the mixture is just about to boil). Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 5-10minutes.
  4. Meanwhile chop the rhubarb into smallish pieces and lay flat in a baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar on top and cover with foil and bake at 180 º C for about 20 – 30 minutes or until completely soft.
  5. Allow to cool and puree or blitz.
  6. Then push the mixture through a sieve and leave to cool.
  7. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks with the 100g of caster sugar, just to combine, then pour over the hot milk mixture, whisking as you go.
  8. Return the mixture to the pan and over a low-medium heat stir constantly until the custard thickens just enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  9. This will take about 5 minutes or so. Be careful not to over cook the custard.
  10. Immediately remove from the heat , pass through a sieve into a clean bowl and leave to cool.
  11. Add the rhubarb puree, mix well and churn in an ice cream machine.
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Made with a delicious buttery shortcrust pastry and no need to precook the fruit.

Wee Buns Cookery School

What you'll need

1 x 10” plate

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 9 oz plain flour
  • 4 ½ oz butter
  • 1 teaspoon icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg + 3-6 tablespoons cold water

Filling

  • 1 ½ – 2lbs rhubarb, washed, dried and sliced
  • Demerara sugar, about 6oz
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. To make the pastry put the flour in a bowl, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar and salt.
  4. eat the egg with half of the water and add, mix in with a knife and bring together with your hand. It may need a little more water. There should be just enough liquid to make the mixture come together.
  5. Alternatively, using a food processor, blitz the flour and butter together with the sugar and salt. Add the egg mixture and blitz until it just starts coming together.
  6. Divide the pastry in two and wrap in cling film, rest in the fridge for about 15 -20 minutes.The resting allows the gluten in the flour to relax so that the pastry is easier to roll out.
  7. On a floured surface, roll out half of the pastry just large enough to fit the plate.
  8. Roll the pastry up on the rolling pin and then lay on the plate (no need to grease).
  9. Add the rhubarb directly on to the pastry, add the sugar and a good sprinkling of cinnamon.
  10. Roll out the other half of the pastry, dampen the edges of the pastry on the plate with water and using the rolling pin, lay the other piece on top.
  11. Press down around the edges and then crimp the edges together with a knife to seal. Cut a little hole in the top.
  12. Place on a tray and then bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until light golden brown.
  13. Dust with caster or icing sugar before serving.

Notes

I love to bake this when the rhubarb is season, usually March to May here in Northern Ireland.
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A great Sunday dinner dessert and very simple to make.

Serves 6
Wee Buns Cookery School

What you'll need

1.1lt ovenproof dish

Ingredients

  • 700g rhubarb, washed and chopped in 2cm pieces
  • 55g caster sugar

Crumble Topping

  • 125g self raising flour
  • 80g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 25g oats
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g cold butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Put the rhubarb in the dish and sprinkle over the sugar, place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the rhubarb is just starting to soften.
  3. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
  4. To make the topping: put the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  5. Stir in the hazelnuts and sprinkle over the rhubarb. Can be made ahead and kept in the fridge at this point.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until the rhubarb is cooked and the crumble is golden.
  7. Serve warm with cream, crème fraiche or custard.

Notes

You can leave out the hazelnuts or substitute almonds if you prefer.
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