Rhubarb, Roobarb

Saturday, 23 February 2013


I've been thinking a lot about rhubarb this week as you do.

First Richard Briers died. Then Bob Godfrey died. Those of you of a certain age will no doubt remember Roobarb and Custard. Richard Briers narrated it and Bob Godfrey was one of the animators. It was one of the many superb five minute programmes which used to end the children's programming on BBC1 each weekday before the boring news came on forty odd years ago. The theme tune will stay with me forever.

Richard Briers was best known for his role as Tom Good in The Good Life. No doubt Tom and Barbara grew plenty of rhubarb in their Surbiton garden.

Now is the season for that English speciality, forced rhubarb. Two hundred years ago a gardener discovered that the rhubarb he had accidentally covered with soil had started to sprout bright pink stalks unseasonably early. This rhubarb was not only pinker but sweeter and less sharp than the later darker rhubarb.

Ninety percent of the world's forced rhubarb is grown in the rhubarb triangle, an area of Yorkshire between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell.  It is grown in sheds and picked by candlelight. You can actually hear it growing. At the height of its popularity there was a special train called the Pink Express or the Rhubarb Special which took the crop from Yorkshire to London each night during the season.


Usually I make a crumble with rhubarb but today I thought I'd get creative and come up with something different. Inspired by Bakewell tart I thought I'd have a go at a rhubarby version.

I apologise for the mixture of imperial and metric weights. I make pastry in imperial, it makes more sense to me.

First I made some shortcrust pastry by throwing 8oz of plain flour and 4oz cubed cold butter into the food processor. I processed it for a few seconds until it formed crumbs. Then I poured in 3-4 tablespoons of cold water and processed until it formed a ball of dough. It is just as easy to make by hand but it is quicker using machinery.





I rolled the pastry out straight away and used it to line a 9 inch (23 cm) tart tin. Then I put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before baking it blind for 15 minutes at 200°c (180°c fan oven). After removing the foil and baking beans I put the part-cooked pastry back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Then I let it cool.




I mixed 250g of chopped rhubarb with a jar of strawberry jam. I used homemade jam and I think it was about 1lb. I spread this mixture in the tart case.


Next I made the almond layer. I beat together 2 eggs, 200g ground almonds, 150g caster sugar and 100g of soft butter. This is just a double quantity of the almond filling for galette des rois. I spread it carefully over the rhubarb and jam and then sprinkled flaked almonds over.

I baked it for 40 minutes at 180°c (160°c fan oven) until golden.


I put it on a baking tray before putting in the oven because I was a little afraid I'd overdone the jam and that I'd have jam escaping all over the oven. I needn't have worried but it is a wise precaution.

I was very pleased with my Rhubarb and Almond Tart, but it was a little on the runny side. Next time I think I will use less jam and more rhubarb and maybe give it another ten minutes in the oven.




If you want to make this gluten-free then I am sure that if you put the rhubarb and jam filling in a shallow baking dish and top with the almond mixture you will have a lovely pudding. It might be good in individual ramekins too but I would reduce the cooking time.




42 comments:

  1. This looks absolutely amazing! Rhubarb always reminds me of childhood days spent with my Grandmother--she stewed it with sugar and ate it warm... delicious! I'm definitely going to try this recipe--thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had rhubarb cocktails the other day ... lots of gin and I'm not sure what else!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Slightly alarmed that I am now officially "of a certain age" but I suppose I must be.

    Rhubarb bakewell - now that's a stroke of genius.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now that does look yummy, definitely will give that a go!
    I remember Roobard and Custard. Just before it started there used to be a programme I remember on how to draw and make cartoons which I think went out on a Sunday afternoon and he showed a preview of what was to come. Great little cartoon!
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hadn't put the two facts together that they were both involved in Roobarb and Custard and died within a week of each other, so sad.

    The tart looks lovely, I've copied the recipe ready to use when our rhubarb makes it's appearance, although I have a sneaky suspicion that our geese have nibbled off the emerging shoots :-(

    Sue xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. How lovely to use rhubarb in that way. Even reading the word makes me salivate.

    I watched an episode of Roobarb and Custard just this morning, it took me back to sitting in the sofa with my daughter on my lap watching their antics. Happy days.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Na na na naaaa, na na na naaaa, yep I remember. I've been feeling 'a certain age' coming on for a while, now it appears to be confirmed. Love your bakewell idea, I'll have to try it out on the hubby. (He's the rhubarb fan of the house.)

    S x

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a lovely tart! I've only ever made rhubarb crumble but the tart looks beautiful (not that I like rhubarb much....)

    Remember the programme mainly for it's unusual flickering quality. I remember those horrid boiled sweets more - they were disgusting but wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I loved Roobarb, the animation was fantastic, all that frenetic scribble, I've never seen anything else like it. The rhubarb tart looks delicious, I will definitely be trying the gluten free version of your recipe (I have experimented with gluten-free pastry and not impressed so far)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This looks AMAZING! I love rhubarb. My nan came from Rothwell and used to eat rhubarb raw, dipping the end in a small bowl of sugar. It's a habit I inherited but I'll have to save a few sticks and have a crack at this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love rhubarb and I loved Roobarb, and the theme tune has to be one of the most famous from a kids programme ever. Your rhubarb pie looks delicious too :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I too was very sad to hear of the death of Richard Briers. I loved those short programmes before the news too but Paddington would have to be my personal favourite. The pie looks delicious. Rhubarb is one of those tastes I've grown into along with asparagus and beetroot. Oh dear, this is all making me feel very old!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I have the Paddington theme tune playing in my head and Michael Hordern's voice.

      Delete
  13. Your tart looks delicious. I have only eaten rhubarb in strawberry-rhubarb pie. It's interesting to other things done with it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gawd that looks fabulous! Our rhubarb is just beginning to poke up through the furled leaves - it'll be a while before I can use it.

    Yes, it was a programme I remember well, I'd be cooking tea and the boys would be on the floor watching tv. How sad.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for such a great post Sue. I love rhubarb, as does my mom and her family. I had no idea that rhubarb was forced any place and I really enjoyed reading about it. I will be waiting for my rhubarb until later this spring but I have noticed that it is starting to grow. The recipe you shared looks delicious but that will need to wait a couple of months too! Love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  16. If one stirs a beaten egg in with the rhubarb and jam, it would probably keep it from being runny without adding any noticeable flavor or a gooey texture. Works every time I make rhubarb pie, though I've never added jam. Worth a try?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, worth a try. Thank you!

      Delete
  17. Ooh, you are one Maverick Chef. It sounds divine - a great idea and keep 'em coming because my rhubarb is defiantly making a comeback in the garden despite my shoddy approach to looking after it last year. Too many spiders for me to brave the picking towards the end of the 'summer' we had last year.
    We started a re-run of The Good Life this week in memory of Richard Briers. Brilliant. But also v. annoying as my husband will insist on quoting the lines before the actors say them. Tsk. But a spiffing series, I'm sure you will agree. (almost as good as Roobarb and Custard - such a very avant garde creepy little show that one)
    v good, tick. As Tom would say.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I adore rhubarb - rhubarb fool, rhubarb tart, rhubarb chutney etc. etc. etc. - so your recipe has been added to my rhubarb files ;)

    It's so sad that Richard Briers and Bob Godfrey have passed away.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I loved your two excerpts of Roobarb the dog. I didn't know him! I was probably living in England at the wrong time! Ah yes, Richard Briers... he had a good reading voice in Roobarb and he often seemed to play himself really, didn't he? I loved watching him, also in Monarch of the Glen!
    I really like the sound of your almond topping on the rhubarb tart, I'm going to try that on apple. Thank you for sharing it here!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I loved roobarb and custart when I was young. Very sad news about Richard Briers, loved the Good Life and he was also great in Ever Decreasing Circles. Your tart looks great. I've got a recipe somewhere for rhubarb and orange meringue pie, which is delicious too. Julie x

    ReplyDelete
  21. This recipe looks absolutely delicious, great easy to follow instructions and tips at the end! Lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
  22. my parents went to visit the candle lit rhubarb in Wakefield on friday. they came back full of tales of squeaky rhubarb, and health benefits, and most importantly a large back of the pale pink stems, which I just poached with a little sugar and ate just as they were. Delicious. And now I need more as I am loving the idea of an almondy topping x

    ReplyDelete
  23. That sounds good, I must pick up some rhubarb next time I go to the green grocers

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my, that tart looks amazing! I made a lemon bakewell recently which was delicious and will have to have a go at this version too. I was also sad to hear about Richard Briers. The Good Life was one of my favourite programmes growing up and with all the repeats, my daughter now loves it too. x

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow. That is all. Just "wow!".

    ReplyDelete
  26. We grow two types of rhubarb to give us a long harvesting season. Thanks for mentioning the gluten-free topping variation! I will be trying this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh my, that looks good. Roll end of Lent - I have given up puddings - and I will be trying this one. I too loved Roobarb, it was fantastic. Thanks for a lovely post Sue.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The combination of rhubarb and almonds sounds exquisite!

    I use individual ramekins too, mostly for crumbles and similar puddings. It's a great solution for just the two of us with the smaller quantities involved.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I made rhubarb crumble today, but your pud looks much nicer.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That's fascinating information about rhubarb! Thank you! I'm from West Yorkshire and my parents would grow it in the garden. They'd give us a raw stick of rhubarb and a cup of sugar for us to dip it in! Unbelievable!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hmmm. Must go and check the rhubarb at the allotment - ours is under a large black bin. I really want some after reading this!
    P x

    ReplyDelete
  32. Try Diana Henry's Bread and Butter pudding with Rhubarb and Lemon Curd - food of the gods

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just found the recipe -sounds wonderful.

      Delete
  33. Clear, clear pictures, glistening rhubarb, delicious recipe. I will return... fatter but happier!

    LLX

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm SO glad I found your blog (via Secret Suburban) and think it is a Sign that there happened to be both poached rhubarb and untouched by teenagers custard in my fridge. Which we ate and I blogged :)

    Off to meander through your back catalogue :)

    I want to try your rhubarb Bakewell too but will have to wait until it's cool enough to have the oven on!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I remember Roobarb and Custard too. They were always all shaky.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Love rhubarb... and I try to be gluten free much of the time so thanks for the pudding suggestion. Nigella has a recipe for damp apple and almond cake (flour free) but it's just as nice (if not nicer) with rhubarb instead of apple.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Liz Davey9:46 am GMT

    The tart looks delicious. I bought some rhubarb in the greengrocer's last week (hideously expensive) and picked up a recipe in Sainsbury's for rhubarb and almond tart, but when cooked the rhubarb was incredibly sour. So I roasted the rest with honey, orange juice and star anise and it was delicious. Having read your blog I have the music for Roobarb and Custard running through my head! Have a good day!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I just wonder if putting in more rhubarb would make the tart more liquid rather than less? Also what do you tend to do with your pastry offcuts(Photo 4)? I never know what to do with mine for the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More rhubarb would have helped I think Nicky. As for pastry offcuts I freeze them until I have enough for another tart or pie.

      Delete

The Quince Tree All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger