Monday, 30 April 2007

I've Gone All Girly

I'm not sure if it's the recent warm Spring weather or the influence of my four female Portuguese lodgers, but my culinary thoughts have recently turned to pink and green fruits, served on flowery and feminine plates. A week ago I'd bought some rhubarb to make a compote and I had plenty left over. With rhubarb prices currently sky-high, I wasn't going to throw it away. My dad had made an apple sauce using Bramley apples, cinnamon and cloves and he also had leftovers in the fridge. They needed to be finished off or donated to the food waste recycling box. It was dad's suggestion to put them both together and achieve a harmony by accentuating their differences. The result was so good we repeated the exercise, this time with the camera at hand.

Here's a dessert that will surprise you. It's very simple - requiring just apple, rhubarb, lemon, soured cream, cinnamon, cloves, sugar and butter.

Apple sauce with rhubarb compote and soured cream
The beauty of this dish is that, like so many great culinary inventions, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The chunky apple sauce is served hot, alongside chilled rhubarb compote and accompanied by soured cream at room temperature. The result is an elegant balance of temperatures, textures and flavours, with the tartness of the apple offset by the sweetness of the rhubarb, and a strong sour note constantly refreshing and surprising the palate. Here's a photo recipe showing you how to make it yourself. Give it a go - it's really simple and absolutely delicious.

For eagle-eyed readers, yes I know there's a similarity in our crockery, but I haven't been taking afternoon tea with Culinary Cowgirl (although I'm sure any such offer could be seriously considered). What I have been doing, however, is thinking very seriously about avoiding food waste through use of by-products and also re-use of leftovers. I've been having some email conversations with other food bloggers on this topic recently and I will post something about food re-cycling and use of leftovers in the professional kitchen environment in a few days' time. It's something that I think will become increasingly important in the coming years.

So when I found myself with some leftover rhubarb compote from this dessert, what did I do with it?

Early season rhubarb ice cream
Rhubarb ice cream. Everyone in the family thought it was absolutely great. According to my dad it was the time-separation of the flavour sensations that made this really special. The sweetness of the cream hits you first, but the tartness of the rhubarb rushes onto your palate a second or two later and lingers for ages. Rhubarb ice cream isn't something often seen in Britain, but it is a triumph of flavour! I'll post a photo recipe as soon as I find time...

9 comments:

Julia said...

Mmmm rhubarb ice cream, sounds fabulous.

Culinary Cowgirl said...

I am cracking up! Seriously - our china is almost the same! Too funny. Great dessert. And great topic - using up our leftovers. I have been trying to use more and more of mine...such an eye-opener to see how much I was throwing away.

Trig said...

Oh it was Julia, so delicate in flavour and also incredibly refreshing on the tongue.

Culinary Cowgirl - Great name by the way! It is certainly a topic that needs more attention, which is exactly why I'm determined to write something on the subject.

It's good that you're also trying to make use of kitchen by-products and leftovers, and I've found that sometimes what I make with these turn out better than the original dish itself! Have you seen Scott from Real Epicurean's brilliant use of leftover chicken poaching liquor? Well worth a try if you ask me

Anonymous said...

your dessert looks rather naughty!

...or maybe its my filthy mind...

Trig said...

It's your filthy mind.

Richard said...

Looking forward to the ice cream recipe - it's time my ice cream maker came out from the back of the cupboard I think.

Little Foodie said...

Both of these look scrummy. The hot and cold (I love that!) The ice cream looks pretty damn great too. Amanda

Trig said...

Cheers Amanda, and I can assure you it tasted pretty damn great too!

Kimi said...

wow, rhubarb ice cream, drool...


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