Apparently forced rhubarb grows so quickly that you can actually hear it. It’s available early in the year and usually comes from the rhubarb triangle in west Yorkshire. The forced variety, grown in the dark with heat, tends to be the sweetest and most tender. With exposure to light, the stems become tougher and tarter.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
For the Rhubarb:
Juice and Zest of 3 oranges, 5 rhubarb stems, 3cm piece of stem ginger (thinly sliced), 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar
For the Cream:
300ml double cream, 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier (or white wine), 100g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 190C. Warm the orange juice in a pan and melt the sugar. Cut the rhubarb stems into 4cm long chunks and arrange in a shallow oven-proof dish. Pour the warm liquid over the the rhubarb and scatter over the orange zest and ginger. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, Beat the cream, caster sugar and Grand Marnier in a bowl until thick and creamy.
Serve the cream with the rhubarb, a drizzle of the juice and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.