Rhubarb - the wonderful veg

Apple and rhubarb tart
Rhubarb is a wonderful vegetable that can be used in many dishes, use it in tarts, crumbles or just stew it and have it with custard or ice cream. The Apple & Rhubarb Pie takes a little time to make but it is well worth the effort, while the Rhubarb & Strawberry Sponge is very simple to make and is a great dessert for anyone in a hurry.

Rhubarb is a wonderful vegetable that can be used in many dishes, use it in tarts, crumbles or just stew it and have it with custard or ice cream. The Apple & Rhubarb Pie takes a little time to make but it is well worth the effort, while the Rhubarb & Strawberry Sponge is very simple to make and is a great dessert for anyone in a hurry.

Apple & Rhubarb Pie

5 Large Cooking Apples, thickly sliced

4oz Caster Sugar

125ml Water

1 Vanilla Pod

1lb Rhubarb, chopped

1tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Egg, beaten

1tsp Sugar

Pastry

14oz Plain Flour

2oz Ground Almonds

6oz Icing Sugar

8oz Cold Butter, chopped

2 Egg Yolks

1tbsp Cold Water

Place the apples, caster sugar, ½ the vanilla pod, lemon juice and the water into a saucepan, cover and bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the rhubarb and simmer for another 3 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. To make the pastry place the flour, almonds and icing sugar together in a bowl, and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, scrape in the seeds from the remaining half of vanilla pod then add in the egg yolks and water until you have a soft dough, lightly knead on a floured surface, then wrap in Clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180° and grease a 24cm pie dish. Roll out ⅔ of the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until big enough to line the pie dish. Line the base and sides of the dish with the pastry, trim and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove from the fridge and line the pastry with baking paper, fill with rice or beans and bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for another 15 minutes and then leave to cool. Fill the apple mixture into the pastry case, roll out the remaining pastry between two sheets of baking paper until big enough to cover pie dish. Brush the edge of the pastry case with egg and place the pastry over the pie, trim the edge, then pinch pastry. Cut a 1 inch hole in the middle of the pastry, brush with the egg and sprinkle with the sugar and bake for about 35 minutes. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Sponge

2lb Chopped Rhubarb

2oz Castor Sugar

2tbsp Orange Juice

1lb Strawberries, sliced

Sponge Mixture

4oz Castor Sugar

2½oz Self Raising Flour, sifted

½tbp Cornflour

Preheat oven to 180°. Place the rhubarb, sugar and orange juice into a saucepan and cook for about 10minutes until rhubarb is soft, add in the strawberries. While the rhubarb is stewing, beat the eggs with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes until thick and creamy; gradually add the sugar and beat until it dissolves then fold in the sifted flours. Pour the fruit mix into a greased oven proof dish and bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and pour over the sponge mix, return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.