There are many reasons to love rhubarb. While I find the neon-blushed stalks totally bewitching, it’s the ease and speed with which they can be cooked that makes rhubarb the home cook’s true friend. Not to mention the myriad ways you can cook it: poach and spoon on to morning yoghurt; swirl into vanilla ice-cream; roast under a crumble or on a tart; pickle to go with a fatty cut of pork or a fillet of grilled oily fish. Enjoy it while it’s here.
Rhubarb, star anise and hazelnut galette
Crumbly, buttery pastry, nutty notes from the hazelnut, and hints of anise and orange: this is a sensationally simple delight.
Prep 15 min
Chill 30 min+
Macerate 15 min
Cook 50 min
For the pastry
170g self-raising flour
1 tsp caster sugar
125g cold butter, diced into small cubes, plus 2 tbsp melted for brushing
3-4 tbsp ice-cold water
For the hazelnut powder
3 tbsp demerara sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra, to finish
45g freshly ground hazelnuts
1½ tbsp wholemeal or plain flour
For the rhubarb
600g rhubarb, cut into 5cm lengths
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 star anise, ground in a mortar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
Sift the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl, add a third of the butter, then briefly and deftly rub it into the flour. Now add the remaining butter and repeat, but this time only semi-rub in the butter, until the pieces are the size of peas (this what makes the pastry flaky). Add the water, tossing the pastry lightly with your hands and letting it fall through your fingers as you do so. Keep folding for a minute or two, until the dough begins to clump, then press it into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap and put in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Roll the pastry into a 30cm circle and transfer to a suitably-sized baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Mix all the hazelnut powder ingredients with a pinch of salt and sprinkle over the dough, leaving a 3cm-4cm border all around the edge.
Put all the rhubarb ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat, then leave to macerate for 10-15 minutes.
Pile the rhubarb in a mound on top of the hazelnut powder, then bring up the sides of the pastry and fold them over the fruit, crimping them a little to create a dam, so the juices won’t breach the rim. Brush the exposed pastry with melted butter, sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden. Remove and leave to cool slightly before serving with creme fraiche or cream.
And for the rest of the week …
Consider making double the pastry and freezing half; pickle any leftover rhubarb (it brightens up the simplest blue cheese salad for a WFH lunch, for example), or poach it to make a syrup for cocktails.