Although rhubarb and custard is an unbeatable combination, I’ve been experimenting with floral infusions. Rhubarb and Rose works well (see my previous post on Rhubarb and rose, custard crumble cupcakes). I was inspired to use violets when I noticed them popping up in the garden. And I thought, well, when in season… Don’t worry, this not overbearingly Parma violet flavoured. It’s quiet subtlety lovely.
So here’s my recipe, if you can even call it that…it’s so simple!
- A bundle of rhubarb sticks (I used about 7) trimmed and chopped into bite size chunks.
- A splash of water (I used about 150ml).
- Sugar or other sweetener to taste (I used agave syrup)
- Freshly picked violets (or use rose petals and a small splash of rosewater? Or orange zest and a small splash of orange blossom water? Or freshly grated ginger? Or a teaspoon or so of vanilla essence?…)
Put the rhubarb, water and sweetener in a large pan over a moderately high heat. Let it start to bubble and fizz and then stir well with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until you reach your desired consistency, I like it mostly purée but with a few lumps of rhubarb left for texture. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Then take the pan off the heat and add the violet flowers. Stir them in gently to infuse their subtle flavour while the rhubarb is still hot, but don’t re-heat. Let it cool and keep it in a container in the fridge to use for quick delicious desserts or snacks. My favourite way is with a lovely, thick and creamy, full fat Greek style yoghurt as a sort of healthy fool…sprinkle with nuts and some more edible flowers and you have a quite special spring treat! Or why not try it spooned over some good vanilla ice cream and serve with crisp shortbread biscuits?
Enjoy! Liz x