Saturday, May 5, 2007

Rhubarb compote with strawberries

Rhubarb - an ode to spring, I use it a lot from May to July, when it's in season. It's still a little early for local, this compote is made with German barb. For years, I boiled my rhubarb compote, until I saw a recipe, where it was baked. The baked tastes better the boiled, and is easier. I haven't boiled it since.

The rhubarb, I could get my hands on, was greenish, not one of the more red sorts, that give a nicer pink color when prepared. The compote is for a trifle, so I added some strawberries for color. An ok use for imported Spanish and Italien strawberries - they don't taste anything like fresh, local berries, but the illusion is seductive!

500 g. - about 1 lbs. - of rhubarb, in 1 cm. pieces
180 g. sugar
1 vanilla bean
250 g. strawberries, halved or quartered, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 180
°C. Put the rhubarb in a cassrole in a layer about 2 cm. deep. Scrape the vanilla bean into the sugar and add the sugar to the rhubarb. Tuck the empty vanilla pod pieces under the rhubarb and cover the casserole with tin foil.

2. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft, but not yet mushy. Taste the compote as soon as it comes out of the oven. If it isn't sweet enough, add a little more sugar while it's still hot, so the sugar kan dissolve.

3. If you're using strawberries, add them, too, while the compote is still hot. They
lose their rawness, but keep their shape and color. Rhubarb - and other fruit - compote is typically eaten cold as dessert in Denmark, with milk or cream poured onto it.


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