It’s taken me a while to be friends with Rhubarb. She can be a slippery, surly thing.
But I’ve recently come around to her. A heavy-handed approach to sugar and the unexpected zing of ginger – and she can be quite the charmer. This compote recipe is a lovely way of celebrating her moody tartiness; her astringent tang. The star anise adds luscious liquorice notes to soften her edges and calm her down a bit.
After this ‘taming’ process we end up with a gorgeous component to pep up this lovely sophisticated dessert ensemble: Almond Torte with Rhubarb, Ginger and Star Anise Compote and Honeycomb Icecream.
No one needs to see you having a double helping. Just saying.
You can also pop it into shortcrust tart bases, swirl it through custard and churn for rhubarb icecream or serve with chocolate fondant to cut through some of the richness. Switching out half of the sugar and adding a generous amount of black pepper sees her morph into an amazing accompaniment to pork fillet or lamb tagine. She’s just that clever.
- 1kg Rhubarb
- 1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
- A big chunk of Ginger (a fat piece about the length of your thumb)
- 12 stars of Star Anise
- Wash and trim the rhubarb and toss it in a heavy bottomed pan with the sugar and grated ginger.
- Pop it on low heat and put the lid on.
- Stir it every now and then to make sure the sugar doesn't burn, but don't fiddle with it too much. In all it will take about 10 mins til it's cooked but still retains it's shape. If you're not fussed about holding the shape you can cook it for longer, but I quite like it to be a bit chunky.
- The trick here is to not add water or any liquid so the rhubard sort of stews in its own juices.