This time last year, I was boasting that my rhubarb was growing fantastically well, but that was while it was at our old rented home. Since then I've dug it and planted it in its new home and i have to say - its not happy. Understandably, it wasn't going to reward me well this year, but I had not expected to find it having been attacked quite savagely by some beetle like insects.
A few days back my fresh leafy salad greens were doing fabulously, then there was nothing - they had all been ravished by the slugs. And now my rhubarb attacked by a pest that i have identified as a member of the weevil family, known to gardeners as 'snout beetle' but its official name is Rhubarb Cuculio - Boo hoo. There were so many of them peddling up and down the rhubarb stalks and it leafy greens that they gave me the creeps. So if any of my fellow vegetable gardeners/growers are reading, then any advice on how to get rid of the snout beetle pest, so that I have good stalks next year, would really be appreciated.
Anyway, I am thankful to the neighbour who is not that keen on rhubarb and allowed me to help myself to some stalks from his patch; and this is what I made with it. A gorgeously pink Rhubarb streusel laced with rosewater and then adored further with dried rose petals. To elevate it further, serve it with double cream or clotted cream; or for something warmer try custard if you wish. Or if you really want more natural pinkness - then maybe some Rhubarb syrup!
The recipe is based on my Rhubarb and Custard Cream Cheese Bars. And as a bonus you will also get some effortless Rhubarb Syrup.
Rhubarb - Rosewater and Rose Petal Streusel Crumble Slices
Blind bake shortcrust pastry lining square baking tin.
4 large rhubarb stalks, sliced into large chunks
2 teaspoons rosewater or to taste
100g plain flour
60g butter, chopped
60g caster sugar plus additional 2 tablespoons for rhubarb
60g rolled jumbo oats
1 teaspoon dried rose petals, plus extra optional for garnishing (or use fresh if your lucky)
Transfer the chopped rhubarb into an ovenproof dish, pour over the rosewater and scatter over 2 tablespoons sugar and bake in the oven 180oc/Gas mark 4 for 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, set aside and allow to cool*
In a bowl, stir in the flour then rub in the butter with your fingers, until it resembles breadcrumbs (as if you were making crumble), then stir in the sugar, rolled jumbo oats and dried rose petals.
With a slotted spoon remove the soft rhubarb and place carefully into the blind baked shortcrust pastry case. Then sprinkle over the crumble mixture evenly.
Bake in the oven 40 - 45 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cook, before removing from the tin and serving with optional scattering of rose petals.
For the Rhubarb Syrup*
Pour the excess syrup from the baked rhubarb into a small pan and boil until the liquid reduces and becomes thick and syrupy. Turn off heat, allow to cool and serve with the slices as an optional extra.