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I think that this may have just become my favourite dessert ever. Big talk, I know, but I really mean it. I knew this was going to be good, but not that good. I think I’m going to be buying a lot of rhubarb.

This takes everything that is great about rhubarb crumble and pie, then enhances it. The roasting renders the rhubarb so soft that it can melt in your mouth. The maple syrup sauce removes its bitterness, without making it overtly sweet. The caramel on the outside of the baked stalks plays perfectly against the natural tartness, completed by the smooth, melting whipped cream. What can I say? Just try it.

Roasted and Caramelised Rhubarb (serves 3)

Four large fresh rhubarb stalks

several tablespoons maple syrup

two tablespoons brown sugar

water

cream (to serve)

Cut the rhubarb into short lengths, and place in a shallow oven dish. Cover the bottom with water, and drizzle the maple syrup on top. Cover the dish, and bake at 180 degrees until the rhubarb are tender. Sprinkle with brown sugar, then place under the grill for about five minutes (watch closely), and remove when the sugar has melted and formed a crust on the rhubarb stems. Cool for a moment, then serve, with spoonfuls of the sauce, and a large dollop of whipped cream on top (vanilla ice cream would also be lovely).

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