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    Rhubarb Leather

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    Rhubarb Leather

    The first rhubarb of the year is grown by candlelight in dark sheds dotted around the famous 'rhubarb triangle' of Wakefield, Leeds and Pontefract. Young crowns of rhubarb are lifted from the fields, replanted in compost, then nurtured in low light to produce tender pink stems with curly yellow leaves. Cooked to a sweet pink purée, then dried overnight, it forms a deliciously different rhubarb 'leather' which makes the most fantastic tool for dunking into creamy custards.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight drying
    • Total time: 30 minutes, plus overnight drying

    Makes: Makes 2 large sheets

    Ingredients

    • 500g rhubarb (trimmed weight), cut into 2cm chunks
    • 300g caster sugar
    • 2-3 tbsp Grenadine liqueur

    Method

    1. Put the rhubarb in a saucepan. Heat gently until it starts to release its juices. Add the sugar and continue to cook gently until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft and all excess liquid has evaporated. Let the mixture cool a little and then blitz in a food processor to a thick purée. Add just enough Grenadine to give a subtle pink colour. The mixture should be as thick as lightly whipped cream.
    2. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (ideally around 80°C). Cover 2 baking sheets with non-stick foil.
    3. Spread the purée in an even layer across the sheets, to the thickness of a pound coin. Dry in the oven for six hours, or overnight, until firm and pliable with no sticky spots.
    4. Peel the leather from the foil and cut into squares or triangles. Store in an airtight container until required.

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