Baked rhubarb with lemon posset
Bakad rabarber med citronkrämen utan gelatin
I just adore baked rhubarb. It really is the best way of cooking lovely garden-fresh rhubarb. This recipe dresses it up a bit with some lemon posset which makes it great for a special occasion, but it is still an easy dessert to make and can be prepared in advance for stress-free entertaining!
Posset is really more British than Swedish, although it is now also becoming more common in Sweden where it is sometimes referred to by its British name and sometimes as a citronkrämen utan gelatin (lemon cream without gelatine).
Originally a posset was a drink made from hot milk and honey, spiced and laced with ale or wine. It was popular in the Middle Ages as a remedy for minor ailments and as a sleep-aid. Indeed, milky drinks are still popular today as bedtime drinks.
The most famous use of posset was in Shakespeare's Macbeth when Lady Macbeth used a poisoned posset to knock out the guards outside Duncan's quarters.
Today, a posset is a thickened cream dessert, sweetened and flavoured. Whatever its origin it is really delicious and yet so is easy to make so do try it! John Duxbury
• This is particularly nice made with forced rhubarb as it is redder, more delicately flavoured and sweeter than ordinary rhubarb.
• For a healthier version use half-fat crème fraîche instead of the lemon cream.
• For a more traditional Swedish dish replace the lemon cream with vaniljsås (vanilla sauce).
• Rhubarb is a more delicate fruit than most people realise. Once cooked, try and handle it as little as possible.
• Don’t be tempted to use a baking tray which is too small. It is important that the rhubarb is in one layer and is not too squashed.
• Although a posset is normally refrigerated, I think the flavour is actually nicer when it is cool, but not set so sometimes I don't bother waiting for it to set! Taste the cream before and after setting and see if you agree with me!
• My wife is a ginger addict! If you are not quite so keen on ginger you might halve the amount of ginger.
|8 sticks||rhubarb, washed and cut into 1 cm (½") lengths|
|2-3||pieces of stem ginger in syrup, cut into thin strips|
|1||orange, zest only|
|1||vanilla pod, split lengthways|
|8 tbsp||caster sugar (superfine sugar)|
|6||thin ginger biscuits or Pepparkakor from a Swedish supplier|
|470 ml||(2 cups)||double (heavy) cream|
|75 g||(3 oz)||caster (superfine) sugar|
|4 tbsp||lemon juice|
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas 4, Fan 160°C).
2. Place the sliced rhubarb in a large roasting tray. Scatter over the strips of ginger, orange zest, vanilla pods and then spoon over the caster sugar.
3. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4. While the rhubarb is baking, pour the cream into a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir well then heat gently until it comes to the boil. Simmer gently for one minute then turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice, stir thoroughly and then leave to cool.
5. When the rhubarb has cooled, discard the vanilla pod and then divide the rhubarb between six dishes, leaving some to use for decoration.
6. Sieve the cooled lemon cream and pour over the rhubarb. Cover the dishes with clingfilm and leave in a cool place until required.
7. Serve at room temperature with some extra rhubarb as decoration, a little grated lemon zest and a ginger biscuit.
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