Monday, June 14, 2010

Rhubarb & Peach Crumble with Fresh Ginger Cream

OK, so last week I extolled the quite incredible virtues of rhubarb. The new superfood. It can lower your cholesterol, it can heal digestive ailments, it can help fight cancer, leap tall buildings in a single bound, and, when used in the right recipe, it can also be a very suprizing and amazing ingredient!

So, true to my word, here is a super recipe for a superfood that I think you will love, and is a delicious dessert to conjure up just in time for the 4th of July. Easy to make, even in larger quanities, casual to serve and will round off any backyard barbeque perfectly so you can pull up the lawnchairs and enjoy the fabled fireworks.

This recipe does owe a lot to my Irish heritage and would be familiar to many in Ireland, however, I have given it a Southern style spin by adding peaches to the fruit mix, and some wonderful hints of ginger to the fresh cream in order to 'up the ante' somewhat. The intense sweetness of the peaches will work superbly with the tartness of the rhubarb, balancing each other beautifully whilst the crunchy crumble gives just the right amount of texture to every bite. And as for the cream, well, add as much as you like, depending on how much you want to 'splurge'....

Have a go, it's easy!...and as ever, enjoy!
Judith, the Irish foodie.

(for the syrup and fruit):
• 8 oz (1 cup) water
• 7 oz (1 cup) granulated sugar
• 3 Tbsp cornstarch
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 Large rhubarb stocks (4 cups) (cut in to ¼ slices)
• 5-6 peaches (3 cups) (skin removed and sliced)

(for the crumble)
• 7 oz (1 cup) old fashioned oats
• 8 oz (1 cup) brown sugar
• 4 ½ oz (1 cup) flour
• 8 oz (1 cup) butter
• pinch of salt
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• dash of nutmeg

How to make it:
1. In a saucepan whisk to combine sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla. Cook together until clear. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine peaches and rhubarb and toss in prepared syrup.
4. In a large mixing bowl add the oats, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the diced butter and using your finger tips work the mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
5. Lightly butter a 9x13 size pan and pour peach and rhubarb mixture in to the baking dish. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top of fruit.
6. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
7. Best served warm with a serving of ginger fresh cream.

Enjoy your summer everyone!

See you next time....and, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, please tell your friends, and forward it to others. That way, we can all spread the joy!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rhubarb, a superfood that can ward off cancer?

Rhubarb is a classic ingredient in many Irish desserts, and for me it brings back memories of my grandparents little walled vegtable garden in the heart of Co. Armagh. Ruby red stalks of wonder ripening in the sun that made the most delicious pies and crumbles. Tart, yet tasty. An Irish beauty...but here's the rub, did you know that this humble vegtable is a bona fide superfood that can heal digestive systems, lower your cholesterol and...wait for it...ward off cancer!?

Yes, according to new research published in the journal 'Food Chemistry', rhubarb could be an important natural remedy in the battle against cancer. Researchers discovered that natural chemicals called 'polyphenols' found within the plant may help to destroy cancer cells. And here's the best harness the cancer blasting effects of these 'polyphenols' the rhubarb must first be exposed to heat. Yup, you guessed've gotta bake it! Music to the ears of cooks everywhere. Now the humble rhubarb pie is a power punching, cancer killing, fat eating super food!

Now, I know what you're thinking, surely vegtables must be eaten raw to get to all that goodness. Well, in may cases yes that may be true, but not in this one. The anti-cancer benefits are greatly enhanced by baking it in the oven for at least twenty minutes researchers tell us.
This is good news, right? Yes indeed, let's roll up our sleaves, pick up some wonderful red rhubarb at your local market and let's have some fun with our latest superfood....

So, tune in next time for a wonderful recipe that I will share with the world, namely a 'Rhubarb and peach crumble with fresh ginger cream', perfect for Sunday cookouts and 4th of July parties.

...until then foodie fans!

the Irish foodie.