In this warm spring dessert, orange juice complements the poached rhubarb and fresh strawberries. The sauce is made by reducing the poaching liquid to a syrup, which intensifies the flavors of the spices. This sauce keeps for several days in the refrigerator.
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar, or try lemon sugar or coconut sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 strips orange zest, measuring 3 inches long by 1 inch wide
½ teaspoon allspice berries
¼ teaspoon 4 Pepper Blend or other peppercorns of choice
1 pound rhubarb
1 pint strawberries
Beat the cream until soft peaks begin to form. Keep the whipped cream refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
Combine the sugar of choice, juice, zest, allspice, and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 3 minutes.
While the syrup cooks, trim the rhubarb and cut it on the bias into pieces about ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Poach the rhubarb in the syrup in 2 batches for between 3 to 5 minutes each until it is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, but not falling apart. With a slotted spoon, remove the rhubarb to a plate. Return the zest and spices to the pan if they were removed with the rhubarb. When all the rhubarb is cooked, raise the heat to high and reduce the syrup to ½ cup. Strain it and set it aside at room temperature.
Hull the strawberries and cut them in half lengthwise.
Just before serving, heat the syrup gently until it is just warm. Spoon the rhubarb into bowls and top with strawberries. Drizzle with the warm syrup. Beat the whipped cream briefly to homogenize it and spoon it over the fruit.
- For a low-fat topping, serve the compote with a dollop of yogurt instead of cream.
- The rhubarb, strawberries, and syrup may be mixed all together and served over ice cream, cakes, steamed puddings, French toast, pancakes or waffles. Leftover syrup may be mixed with sparkling water.
Recipe and Variations Copyright Deirdre Davis 2020
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