Using up the last of the Rhubarb

Rhubarb is generally first to peep its head from the soil in my garden, and after a winter long fruit-free season the rhubarb is rightfully met with a wondrous welcome. Rhubarb is perfectly suited to Irish soil and it is terribly easy to grow. I’d urge any rhubarb fans to plant a few stalks. You won’t get to use it this year, but you will reap the benefits from these few stalks for many years to come. Our rhubarb season will soon be coming to an end, but I, for one, am still celebrating its deliciousness, by including it in our diet as many ways as possible. I recently made my first batch of rhubarb chutney. Though it won't be at its peak of flavour for a few months to come, I was rather impressed with how suitable an ingredient it was for a savory preserve. The element of tartness from the rhubarb allows it to match quite well with a chunk of strong cheddar. My yearly stash of rhubarb jam is also made and stored away for slathering over some brown bread, scones or as a filler for a nice cream sponge. That's the thing with rhubarb; it's just so versatile.

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is one that evolved from a simple pot of stewed rhubarb, which was intended to be paired with some custard, but upon finding a pot of cream in the fridge it took a little turn and developed into a rhubarb fool. To serve, I simply popped it into serving bowls and sprinkled over crushed gingernuts, but for a fancier option, layer the fool along with the crushed gingernuts into a cocktail glass, chill in fridge and dust with some icing sugar just before serving. Whatever way it is served, it makes a very tasty, seasonal dessert.

Rhubarb & Vanilla Fool with a Gingernut Crunch

serves 4
250g rhubarb, sliced
75g granulated sugar
25mls water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
80mls cream
1 tsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75g gingernut biscuits

  1. Place the rhubarb, sugar and water into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, gently whip the cream and fold in the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Add the cooled stewed rhubarb and stir to combine. Transfer into four serving bowls.
  3. Place the gingernuts into a small plastic freezer bag and with a rolling pin give it a few whacks until they are crushed. Divide the crushed gingernuts between the four bowls of fool. Top with a mint leaf and dust with a little icing sugar.