Last weekend Des and I went to check out the Wakefield Rhubarb festival which celebrates the bittersweet harvest from the famous Rhubarb Triangle of Yorkshire.
The festival was a fruit of many different types of food and drink, all from a variety of local suppliers (Including Tarte & Berry, who will be featuring in an upcoming post of their own.)
However the real star was the famous Forced Rhubarb, a partially local phenomenon, unique to Yorkshire
Forced Rhubarb is the result of a rather usual process; the plants begin by spending two years out in the fields without being harvested. Whilst in the fields, the plants store energy in their roots as carbohydrates. These roots are subjected to frost before being moved into sheds in November where they are kept in complete darkness. In the sheds the plants begin to grow in the warmth and the stored carbohydrate in the roots is transformed into glucose resulting in forced rhubarb's bittersweet flavour.
A longer post on the festival is in the works, however I thought I would quickly share with you the recipe I used to make the most of my rhubarb haul from the festival. It's ridiculously simple and only requires a few ingredients, most of which may well already be in your store cupboard.
This cobbler is much like a crumble, however is slightly healthier due to the omission of butter and other fats. To make it even more saintly, I recommend using agave nectar or raw honey, instead of brown sugar.
The addition of the orange juice adds an extra dimension to the flavour, helping to compliment the sharp aspects of the rhubarb, whilst also adding natural sweetness.
I'd love to know if you have any rhubarb recipes of your own that you recommend!
Please do leave a comment with any suggestions - I'm thinking that rhubarb scones may have to undergo a trial in my kitchen.
- 400g forced rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 2cm chunks
- The juice of one orange
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 200g Oats (GF oats if needed)
- 130ml milk of your choice (you can use soy or almond for a fully vegan recipe)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Place the chopped rhubarb in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of the brown sugar and pour over the orange juice and then mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, milk and remaining two tbsp. of sugar until a thick batter is formed.
4. Dollop this batter liberally over your rhubarb mix, then place in the centre of the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
5. The Cobbler is best served with liberal amounts of custard or cream