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Stories from the Studio
Rhubarb is a real harbinger of Spring, like the bluebells that we have in the woods all around us here on the Rame Peninsula.
Bluebells are also the inspiration for my Bluebell Collection which includes a tea towel, bread bag, aga top, bistro apron, mug and greetings card!
Since the bluebells are carpeting our woods, I thought it might be a good time to share these delicious Spring-time rhubarb recipes.
Are you lucky enough to have a rhubarb plant in your garden? I love receiving rhubarb from friends at this time of year and it's readily available in the shops just now. It's a bit like apples in autumn, everyone goes from having none to more than you can eat in a few short weeks! So I thought you might appreciate having a couple of much loved rhubarb recipes to hand...
Usually I make this recipe with apple. I decided to try it with some rhubarb and added a bit of ginger instead of the usual cinnamon. The result is delicious! It works well as a snack or you can serve it as a pudding with more baked rhubarb and custard, cream or yoghurt.
Roughly line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Crinkle it up first so it fits well into the corners.
1.To a food processor (or bowl) add 200g of SR flour, 125g of soft butter, 200g of caster sugar, 2 eggs and 1 tsp of ground ginger and blitz for 10 seconds.
2. Dollop half the mixture on the bottom of the tin, add 400g of rhubarb chunks about 1cm wide and then dab the rest of the cake mixture on top. Don't worry if it doesn't completely cover the fruit.
3. I usually sprinkle the top with a little demerara sugar if you have it.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 60 mins or until the cake mixture springs back when you prod it with your finger.
5. Let it cool, chop into chunks and share!
Rhubarb Plate Pie
This rhubarb pie is too good to miss and so quick to make. It took no more than 5 minutes to roll the pastry, add the fruit and get this in the oven to cook. Sometimes it's called a one-crust pie. There is no shame in buying short crust pastry if you are short of time or inclination!
1. Make (or buy) short crust pastry. I use 200g of plain flour and 100g of butter, plus a bit of orange juice or water. Rub fat into flour and bring it all together with a little liquid. Let the pastry rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
2. Roll the pastry into a circle about 35cm in diameter.
3. Brush the inside edge of the pastry with egg yolk and place onto a baking tray or enamel plate for baking.
4. Chop about 700g rhubarb into 1cm sized chunks and mix with roughly 5 tbsp sugar.
5. Pile the fruit into the pastry and bring the edges in to form a rough crust.
6. Brush the outside surface of the pastry with the remaining egg and sprinkle with more sugar.
7. Bake for 35 mins at 200°C and eat with clotted cream or yoghurt.
Makes a good dessert and a better breakfast!
Enjoy rhubarb season.
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