By: Justin Russell | April 18, 2012
I celebrated my 38th birthday a couple of weeks ago, and as usual, got to choose what the family ate for dinner. This year I went almost completely local and organic: home raised lamb shanks with home grown carrots on a bed of home grown mashed potato, followed by home grown apple and rhubarb crumble for dessert. It was sheer pleasure.
The dessert ingredients are two of the highlights of autumn. Apple and rhubarb pairs incredibly well in the kitchen, and the two ingredients reach a simultaneous peak of ripeness as the summer heat begins to wane and the overnight temperature begins its steady march southward. In celebration, my household enjoys a dish made from apples and rhubarb at least once a week during April and May.
Here's one of my favourites, adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe that I saw on an episode of River Cottage. It's a cinch to prepare, but very scrummy.
Baked Rhubarb and Apple
4 baking apples, such as Bramley's Seedling or Granny Smith
4 fat rhubarb stems
2 tbsp honey, preferably local and organic
½ cup of orange juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Core and peel the apples, cut into wedges or 2cm cubes, and toss in vinegar or lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
Cut the rhubarb into 4cm long chunks, and combine with the apple in a shallow baking dish.
Drizzle over the honey and orange juice. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Bake uncovered in a 180 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until the apple has softened.
Serve warm with double cream or ice cream.