Loads of ideas for what to do with rhubarb compôte; and how to make a really good one
If you are making the In-The-Pink Zabaglione Cake, or you can’t find ready-made rhubarb compôte, and you need it for some other reason, this is how to make it. The recipe comes from a very experienced cook I know – and her dad. They are a great team – I haven’t yet found a better one.
TIP: Chef, Alex Bond, of Alchemilla in Nottingham suggests, if you want to keep the beautiful blush pink colour try infusing with dried hibiscus flowers while cooking.
The French-Canadian chef, Madame Benoit, makes a variation of this compôte including also strawberries. She mixes ½ cup of orange juice with ¾ cup of sugar, 1 kg of rhubarb and 425g of frozen strawberries.
Recipe for Joanne’s rhubarb compôte
- 3 sticks of rhubarb
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp elderflower cordial (or you could use ginger wine or cointreau instead in which case a bit of orange zest would go really well with either liqueur)
- some freshly grated ginger (or even a dash of ginger wine, if you are serving this with something sweet)
- Cut the rhubarb into lengths of about 5 cm/2″, and then cut vertically into quarters. If you are looking for more of a sauce, cut it even smaller.
- If you have time, cover the rhubarb with the sugar and leave to self-macerate, thus extracting the juices for about half an hour.
- Simmer for ten minutes (together with the cordial or ginger) or until the rhubarb is soft.
Other uses for rhubarb compôte:
- use as more of a garnish – for example, for Panna Cotta.
- pour hot or cold over vanilla ice cream or with thunder and lightening ice cream
- substitute for Rote Grütze as a topping for panna cotta
- mix into thick yoghurt, sprinkle with soft brown sugar and leave in the fridge for the sugar to sink down through the yoghurt
- swirl into mountainous, magnificent meringues; or whip into double cream and sandwich meringues together; or add to an Eton mess
- add to trifles
- use to make rhubarb sensible if you can’t find ready-made conserve
- use instead of peach juice in a Bellini
- substitute for the orange juice in the internal drizzle in a Sister Act extra-drizzly cointreau orange cake
- with crème fraîche and pancakes
- add a little less sugar and it works well as a sauce for chicken, or with smoked mackerel – yes – really!
- Cutting through the fattiness, it’s great with black pudding
- it’s good with the sweetness of shellfish
- MOST DELICIOUS OF ALL is Bruce Smallbone’s lemon and rhubarb confection. In an attractive bowl put a layer of the yummy The Collective luscious lemon yoghurt (which you can get in Waitrose, Ocado etc etc), a layer of the rhubarb, a layer of crumbled ginger nuts….maybe a few white chocolate chips… and then those layers all over again. If you can’t find the luscious lemon yoghurt try the raspberry flavour instead.