It is a bit of an awkward time of year, around now, fruit speaking. At work, we strive to use seasonal and locally grown produce for the most part, and right now there is a lull. All winter, I have borrowed citrus from California to grace the dessert menus. I have loved the citrus, but, as with other fruits and seasons, its time is almost up. I get antsy. I really want to start introducing cherries and strawberries on a menu that is feeling a little nut heavy these days.
There is one vegetable though, that I have grown particularly fond of in my recent days of berry and cherry yearning.
Rhubarb. The Pie Plant.
I have never really familiarized myself with it, until most recently while trying to introduce new elements to my desserts. As the citrus dwindles from the menu, Rhubarb has taken a firm hold a couple spots. In one form, baked under a hazelnut struesal topping, and in another, lightly poached with orange and vanilla, just enough to lightly sweeten, yet retain its vibrant color, slight crisp texture and tart flavor.
Today, I played with Rhubarb in another form.
With a bit of sugar and lemon zest, I cooked it down into its more concentrated state.