I love the word rhubarb. I must make an effort to use it more in my everyday speech. “Rhubarb-red” I could say…or perhaps “rhubarb rhubarb” (instead of blah blah which does feature quite a lot in my speech). You might get completely the wrong mental picture of me though if I were to do this….
Perhaps I should just cook rhubarb more often seeing how it is one of Sam’s all time favourites. Ever since he was a baby Sam loved to eat rhubarb, cooked with apple and cinnamon, and served on top of a big bowl of natural (unsweetened) yogurt. He had strange tastes as a baby. We used to have to hide the broccoli from him because he would refuse to eat anything else if broccoli was on offer. At the end of the meal we would bring out a big bowl of broccoli to a big beaming smile from little Sam.
There is no recipe as such …just treat this as a bit of a guide. And unless you are Sam, you might want to add a bit more sugar!
Rhubarb and Apple
I bunch ruby red rhubarb (there, I said it!), washed and cut into short lengths
2-3 apples (preferably green granny smiths), peeled and cut into largish chunks
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 large cinnamon stick (I sometimes add a star anise pod as well)
Put half a cup of water, the sugar and cinnamon stick in a wide shallow pan (the aim is to try and have one layer of rhubarb so it cooks evenly – better than a deep dish where it all piles up and the bottom turns to mush). Cook for a couple of minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add the apple. Cover and cook for approx 5 minutes until the apple is cooked. Now layer the rhubarb on top. Cover and cook for a further five minutes. Serve with yogurt or icecream with a sprinkle of sugar on top if you wish.
That’s it – simple! We like the rhubarb and apple to be cooked soft but still retain its shape, hence the short cooking time and no stirring. If you prefer it all soft and mushy then cook for a further 5-10 minutes and give it a good stir. Sam’s ideal is when you end up with layers – the apple softly red tinged , the apple and rhubarb retaining their own flavours and textures, and the melded apple, cinnamon and rhubarb favours only in the rhubarb-red (said it again!) syrup at the bottom of the pan.
It is so simple and quick to make, and Sam adores it…but I do not seem to make it all that often (bad mother syndrome). Luckily for him, his grandma indulges his passion for rhubarb most weeks.