It’s so easy on the internet to list your ingredients and have at your fingertips a whole load of recipes for every occasion.
So there’s really no excuse to go off course from local Sussex produce on the grounds that ‘there’s nothing to cook!”…
Main courses and savoury dishes are pretty easy – there are loads of beautiful winter vegetables around to bring together a feast from a traditional roasts using sweet veg to accompany a meat or veggie course to a spicy mustard and rocket salad..whatever takes your fancy.
Now puddings are slightly more tricky….we have amazing apples and pears (and who doesn’t love a Tarte Tatin or Apple pie?) and possibly a freezer of fruit from the summer. But assuming you’ve used all that up, then early rhubarb is the star of the show.
Our Worthing rhubarb is early and we have a wide range of ethically produced local dairy and eggs, which means there are all the right ingredients for a fabulous pudding. Rhubarb is usually tempered with a creamy custard sauce to counter the tartness – but as this early fruit is so delicate, then you can add creme fraiche for a deeper flavour palette.
Our cream and creme fraiche come from Northiam Dairy where the herds are raised responsibly by Rupert on the farm started by his grandfather 70 years ago.
Rob at Southdowns produces the butter traditionally using gently churning. This is a slower process than regular butter but the quality is amazing (which is why it has won Gold at the Great Taste Awards six years in a row!).
Rhubarb and Creme Fraiche Cake
Now this recipe is pretty rustic and uses sour cream rather than creme fraiche, but the added richness of the creme fraiche really adds to the flavour. This recipe is also quite heavy on the sugar – we leave out roughly one third when we cook as we prefer a more fruity flavour.
350g Self-Raising Flour
2 tsp cinnamon
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
330g firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
240g sour cream (creme fraiche)
440g rhubarb, cut into 1cm chunks
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
110g caster sugar
25g flaked almonds (not necessary, but it adds a nice aesthetic to the cake)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line a 26cm round cake tin. Then mix together the flour, nutmeg and 1 and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl with a whisk and set aside. Put the butter and brown sugar into a separate bowl and beat till the mixture resembles (and feels like) wet sand.
Once the butter is fully incorporated, add the egg and beat will till the mixture is fluffy and creamy and there are no more lumps of sugar.
Add the creme fraiche and vanilla and beat in till well combined.
Mix in the flour on low speed till combined, then add your rhubarb chunks and stir briskly to make sure that the rhubarb is completely coated in batter. Use a large bowl, as if you don’t, you will end up with a overflowing bowl of messy deliciousness that will go EVERYWHERE!!
Once the mixture is combined, scrape it into your prepared cake tin and sprinkle the top liberally with flaked almonds, caster sugar and the remaining cinnamon.
Bake the cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or till a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Now at this stage you can serve it as a pudding by scooping it out of the container with a large spoon and serving with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream…but if you wait till it cools down, it tastes even better as a luscious, tender cake with lashings of double cream.
I’ve given you the basic recipe here – but if you want pictures and more then click on the link to the original.