Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I think I’m slowly turning into my grandfather.
Whilst I’m yet to put my golfing cap in the back of my car I’ve found myself morphing into ‘that old man’. You know the one who hates anything new, talks incessantly about “the good ol’ days” and wears his flannel pyjamas ’til noon (and occasionally out in public).
The realisation of my metamorphosis came the other week when watching the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC); an annual Apple Tech event where new products are released. They were demonstrating new messaging technology for the iPhone that would “enhance communication and make people connect more”. For what it’s worth their grand new technology was a speech bubble that could increase and then decrease in size at a speed of your choosing… depending on your ‘mood’. It was this that turned me into a ranting old man with excessive ear hair.
Surely communication is better served without air bubbles. Back in my day we had one phone and it was in the kitchen so everyone could hear what you had to say. It was like Christmas when we got an extension cord for the phone and you could drag the phone into your bedroom and talk in private. Or at least that’s what you thought you were doing… until you heard the faint breathing of another person on the other handset.
Your daily updates didn’t come from a feed, it came with a feed of cookies as you met your friends around the school lockers and harshly judged your fellow school mates (who would the next week be your BFF – being a teenager is so confusing!). Sunday nights were special as the long distance phone call rate was cheaper and you could share your weekly highlights with family far away, and prank calls were so much easier without caller ID.
The old man in me wants to take their emoji predicting program and throw it out a virtual window, but that’s probably just how my Grandad felt about mobile phones, velcro shoes and automated car washes. As much as I want to be cool and embrace the new there’s a comfort in existing within what we know. So whilst I won’t be adding enlarging text bubbles to my messages any time soon I know I’ll have to step out of my comfortable runners and into a pair of (virtual) stilettos from time to time to make sure that I don’t end up the daggy mum still using a flip phone in her flip flops.
What I love about cooking is the way it brings you back to basics. Cooking can tell a story and it can bring people together. I can tell you what I was cooking when I was in labour (potato skins and baked chicken) and what I ate for my 12th birthday (a Lamington cake). Cooking can make memories, it can tell someone how you feel and it make you feel good. And it can do all of this without apps or emojis.
This Strawberry and Rhubarb Curd is like sending a heart emoji with a slowly enlarging bubble (aka hug). It’s a beautiful red bowl of love with just a bit of sweetness (it’s a little bit tarty too!). There are two steps to making this Strawberry and Rhubarb Curd. The first is reducing the strawberry and rhubarb to make a thick, gooey mush. Instead of using sugar to reduce the bitterness of the rhubarb, it is cooked with orange juice and lemon zest. The tasty red mush is added to the eggs and cooked over a double boiler. Don’t be scared by the idea of cooking with a double boiler; it’s easier than it sounds. A heat proof bowl is placed over a pot of simmering water. This stops the eggs from curdling and allows the curd to cook slowly.
This Strawberry and Rhubarb Curd should be eaten by the giant spoonful. Warm or cold it’s a delicious treat for rhubarb season and soon I’ll share with you my Strawberry and Rhubarb Meringue Pie. So you may need to make a double batch in readiness for the recipe; because there’s every chance you’ll eat all of it before you’ve had a chance to make your pie!
P.S. This recipe leaves two egg whites. Don’t throw them away; keep them in an airtight container in the fridge and use them to make your meringue topping or a simple batch of these Macaroons.
Strawberry and Rhubarb Curd
- 100 grams Rhubarb stalks cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1 1/2 Tablespooms Orange Juice
- Zest of 1/2 small Lemon
- 250 grams of Strawberries fresh or frozen
- 3 Eggs
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil softened slightly
- Place the rhubarb, orange juice, lemon and berries in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat.Simmer over medium heat until the rhubarb has softened (approximately 8-10 minutes).
- Use a hand blender (or masher) and puree the mixture until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of pureed mixture and use.
- Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, maple syrup, and 1 cup of the pureed fruit mixture in a heat proof bowl until the mixture is well combined.
- Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.
- Once the mixture has started to warm, add the coconut oil 1 spoonful at a time. Whisk after each addition.Only add the next spoonful once the previous one has combined. Stir regularly.
- This should take approximately 15 minutes. When done the mixture will be thickened and able to coat the back of the spoon.
- Cool and place in a glass container. Store in the fridge.