This recipe is a two for one for you, utilising the ubiquitous rhubarb which is currently, triffid like taking over the garden.
A delightfully simple recipe which yields a versatile syrup which can be used in cocktails, Bellini springs to mind if you get hold of some good prosecco, or if you prefer something non alcoholic then sparkling water and ice would work just as well. Or you could try it drizzled over ice cream, yogurt or cake for a decadent dessert or maybe stirred into whipped cream for a creative syllabub. In fact there are lots of ways you can use this lovely syrup and its colour is amazing !
The other by product is a fridge jam or chunky compote which can be used to fill cakes, to top pavalovas or simply spread on scones or toast. The syrup would also make a great gift for a foodie or gardening friend, I would love someone to bring me something like this as a dinner party gift or just a seasonal treat.
The star anise twist came about as I recently dipped into the Flavour Thesaurus written by Niki Segnit (a kind gift from a friend a couple of Christmas ago) and stumbled across a reference to rhubarb and aniseed as a flavour combination, so giving that I was making rhubarb syrup I thought I'd give it whirl and yes reader it worked, it worked beautifully. You still get the rhubarby tang but with a rounded aniseed end, just don't over do the star anise as you don't want it tasting too medicinal.
Star anise is beautiful spice, both in taste and looks, departing a gorgeous warming anise flavour to your baking and cooking.
What you need
- 4 cups of washed chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup of sugar (granulated is fine)
- 1 cup water
- 1 whole star anise
What you do
- Place everything is a large heavy bottomed pan
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the rhubarb is softened
- Sieve the fruit , the syrup should be bottled in a sterilised bottle, the fruit pulp is your jam and stores well in a covered bowl in the fridge.
This is my entry for Credit Crunch Munch which we are hosting this month here and I think more than qualifies as you get two dishes from homegrown rhubarb. The challenge was originally created by Food 4 all and Fuss Free Flavours.
I am also including this post in the No Waste Food Challenge created by Elizabeths Kitchen Diary and hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food this month. This post more than qualifies as there is no waste from the recipe and the cordial is even presented in a recycled olive oil bottle.