RCE Garlic & Sapphires: Roasted Rhubarb!
Yup, its THAT simple. You cannot mess this up - no matter how much you try (well, I guess if you left it in the oven for 4 hours at 450 it might burn your house down, but other than that...)
I actually couldn't find fresh rhubarb any more in my market (the season has kind of passed I guess) so I substituted some IQF from my local Dominion store (same as A&P, just so you don't think this was a highbrow operation). Literally, I ripped open the bag, dumped it in the roasting dish, poured over about a 1/2 cup of white sugar (I like it a bit on the tart side) and chucked it in. Checked it at the recommended time but since it was frozen to start I gave it another 10 minutes.
When it was done, I immediately put some on a bit of pound cake I had in the fridge and ate. Not only was it absolutely delicious but I felt as though I'd been completely transported back to my childhood where I used to eat just-washed stalks of barb dipped into white sugar. Yup, its that good.
So now that I had this stuff, what the heck was I going to do with it? Well, I tipped it all into a Mason jar, sealed it up and put it in the fridge for a day. The next day I was expecting a friend for dinner so I took about half a cup, added the same amount of water, a bit more sugar and simmered it for about half an hour. Strained it and put the ruby coloured juice back into the cleaned pot and boiled the syrup until it was just coating a spoon. I was planning on putting the syrup over ice cream but when my friend suddenly couldn't make it, I put it in a tiny container (it didn't end up making that much) and plopped it in the fridge.
Imagine my surprise when I found it the next day completely gelled. Yup, I'd turned it into rhubarb jelly. The taste of which was so completely rhubarby and fresh and tangy and tart and sweet and delicious that I ate it all on toast with just a smidgen of butter to join it.
In the end I'd managed to turn about $2 worth of ingredients into the most delicious warm dessert that a dollop of sweet whipped cream and a nice little biscuit would have done justice, followed by a great little syrup for ice cream (use a good quality vanilla here) and finally a jelly that needs no peanut butter. Not a bad investment if you ask me.