Yep, the time when you look out to your veg patch one morning to find a plant that looks like a cross between a Gunnera and a triffid...and you swear the day before it was just some tiny little buds barely emerging out of the soil....
rhubarb and apple sponge cake
the time when people start gingerly asking you "Do you like Rhubarb?"...and you just KNOW that's the opening question leading up to the plea "PLEASE take some of my rhubarb....I have too much growing"...
...and they then stop mid sentence when you give a wry smile and they then just know that you are part of the club already....
you are a rhubarb grower!
and so they don't even bother to go on to ask if you'd actually like to take a whole plant...not just some stalks because they also know that it's...
that time when you yourself yet again stand staring at the three huge monster plants growing in your tiny patch and with only two of you in the house to feed, say to your self yet again..."this year I WILL get rid of one of those plants"....
but you don't
because you are greedy
because you LOVE rhubarb
rhubarb and ginger chutney
Yes...if you grow rhubarb...you will 'get' this oh yes indeedy!
Rhubarb 'Dorset Window Pudding'
So, lets get onto the important bit....EATING IT!
This years Pinterest trawling lead me to THIS link - Lemon & Rhubarb Cookies so it's thanks to Kate at Picklebums.com as she takes the credit here. I'd yet to try rhubarb in biscuits so was keen to give it a go....the result however was very different to what I'd imagined...maybe due to me, as usual, tweaking it a bit....I'm not sure.....but anyway they were different but DELICIOUS! Mine came out more cakelike rather than cookie/biscuit...more cake cum scone cum biscuit bites so I have renamed them....partly due to Clive eating one...then another...then another and remarking how easily they 'popped' into the mouth....
So I have called my version 'Rhubarb and Orange Pops'
The orange part obviously coming from the fact I didn't have any lemon to hand, but tonnes of fresh oranges due to my current obsession of making rhubarb, orange apple, carrot and spinach juice drinks for breakfast....so I know Orange and Rhubarb do go well together...the tang of the rhubarb is tempered by the sweetness of the orange and the colours of the pieces and zest look like little gems amongst the pale yellow soft fluffy sponge.
more like a rock cake!My first batch took me by surprise....firstly thinking they were going to be cookie like, I followed the instructions and placed small spoonfuls onto my baking tray expecting them to spread and flatten out a bit...but found they actually kept their shape , puffing up slightly. The result was a rock cake shape!
but still moist, light and tasty !I liked that....but now knowing how my mix was reacting in the oven and you have to be very careful not to let them overcook, I felt they probably needed shaping a bit and slightly flattening and smoothing out. For the second batch I took spoonfuls, then reshaped with a dampened fingers...the mix is reasonably firm, not too runny or sticky so it's quite easy to smooth out.
a bit more uniform in shape and colour.
I used the same recipe ingredients amounts and my mix yielded 30 'pops'....but really depends on the size of the spoonfuls you want. Mine were just about right 'two bite' pieces...but you could make smaller...or larger and remember to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
RHUBARB & ORANGE 'POPS'
Prep time 15 mins Cook time 12-15 mins Makes approx. 30
- 185g softened butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unrefined caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups Self Raising flour
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 cup rhubarb chopped
- zest of 2 large oranges
- juice of 2 large oranges
- 1/2 tbsp of additional caster sugar
Dice the rhubarb into small 1cm pieces and put in a bowl with the orange zest, 2 tbsp of the orange juice and the 1/2 tbsp of additional caster sugar. Combine well and set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter, dark brown sugar and caster sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and then gradually sift and fold in the SR flour and cornflour.
Stir in the rhubarb mix, and combine well and evenly...add more of the remaining juice if the mix is too thick and unworkable. You want a firmish mix that holds onto the spoon...NOT runny or of dropping consistency or they will not hold their shape.
Place spoonfuls of the mix onto a prepared cookie/baking tray, spaced a couple of cms apart...then shape gently into rounds and pat out smooth using dampened fingers.
Bake for approx. 12-25mins depending on your oven type and size of the 'pops'. You are looking for a pale golden colour slightly darker at the edges and they spring back when gently pressed with a finger (just like cooking a sponge cake) Take care not to over bake or they will become dry and crumbly.
Gobble up a couple while hot from the oven and no-ones looking.....and allow the rest to cool on a wire rack.
Get the kettle on, make a brew...bask in the aromas wafting around your kitchen, then relax, put your feet up, enjoy your moment of kitchen goddess bliss.....while you pop another couple in your mouth!