“Rhubarb. Rhubarb. Rhubarb.”
“Rhubarb. Rhubarb. Rhu-barb!”
Back in the day, when I was a young thespian-type, this is the noise you’d hear coming from all us extras on stage attempting to emulate the murmur of chit-chat. And it’s exactly how Twitter and the wider blogosphere sound right now. Yes, it’s rhubarb season and recipes and conversations about rhubarb abound. Oh, and of course, there are quite a few mentions of
and the occasional
and perhaps a slightly hopeful
I’m partly to blame of course for the fascination in all things rhubarb, as this tart and tasty perennial is one of the three set ingredients for May’s Recipes for Life challenge I’m hosting, together with lemon and spice. We’ve already seen some delicious rhubarb recipes entered, from ice cream and fools to scones and muffins – you can take a look at all the entries submitted so far here.
This fragrantly spicy rhubarb and lemon sorbet is my second entry. It’s incredibly simple and absolutely delicious, and so ideal for Recipes for Life, as we’re trying to come up with a selection of easy recipes for SWALLOW members, all adults with learning difficulties, to prepare during their cookery lessons and ultimately to feature in a charity cookbook.
I served my sorbet with an oaty sultana and cinnamon cookie on the side; a perfectly crunchy, slightly chewy biscuit with which to scoop up your sorbet.
Spiced rhubarb and lemon sorbet
250g rhubarb, washed and trimmed and cut into 5cm chunks
110g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 star anise
Half a cinnamon stick
Place the rhubarb, caster sugar, lemon zest and juice, water and spices in a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for around 10 to 15 minutes until soft.
Leave to cool. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick, and then blend the rhubarb in a liquidizer until smooth.
Pour into in an air-tight container and place in the freezer. Give it a good stir every hour or so to prevent ice crystals forming. Keep doing this until the sorbet is set, which will take around four hours. If you have an ice cream maker, which I don’t – sadly – then I guess it’s even easier and you can leave it to churn itself.
Serve your sorbet with an oat cookie on the side…
Cinnamon oat cookies
200g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
150g rolled oats
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Put the butter in a large saucepan and melt over a low heat. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and combine well.
Add the beaten egg and mix it in. Next add the oats, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and sultanas and mix it all together thoroughly.
Use a tablespoon to spoon the cookie mixture onto the baking trays, making sure they are spaced out well. Squish the mixture flat with your fingers.
Bake the cookies in the oven for around 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Stored in an air-tight, they’ll keep for up to five days. As if they’ll get the chance!
I’m entering this sorbet into May’s Recipes for Life challenge, as well as Ren Behan’s wonderful Simple and in Season community blog event, where I think you may find a fair few rhubarb recipes this month!