Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Crème Anglaise

I have this thing about strawberries and rhubarb.  I strongly believe that if the word “foodgasm” was in the dictionary, there’s a possibility that the definition would involve a picture of someone having a mouth explosion of strawberry rhubarb amazingness.  Right now, I might even be willing to go so far as to say they are the most perfect springtime food combination.  Ever.  (Feel free to trump me on that one via comments…but I still have the aftertaste of strawberry rhubarb compote in my mouth, so it’s hard to focus on other possibilities at the moment.)

The best part about strawberries and rhubarb is that they are such an unlikely pair.  Rhubarb, a bitter, celery lookalike plant, comes into season mid-April, and promptly goes back out of season mid-June.  Strawberries come into season at the end of May and keep the sweet, fruity, juicy berry party going for pretty much the rest of summer.  There are precisely 14 days out of the ENTIRE YEAR where both of these magical fruits are in their prime at the same time.

And guess what?

My birthday happens to fall during those two weeks.

🙂

Can you guess what I have on my birthday every year?

I’ll be perfectly honest with you guys.  Despite my grain-free, sugar-free life, blog, evangelical preaching, I’m probably going to make an exception for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie come June.  I’m human, and once a year, it’s okay to eat pie.  Maybe twice, if you count Thanksgiving.  Certain traditions are just not worth messing with.  And maybe to be a good sport, I’ll make the pie with an almond and coconut flour crust and I’ll share it with you guys.  Or maybe it’ll be a rich buttery flour crust that I’ll regret eating afterward.  I’ll let you guys know how that turns out, of course.

In the meantime, because I keep seeing rhubarb everywhere, and I found some delicious strawberries at Torvehallerne yesterday (I think they were from Spain, where they’re clearly already in season), I decided to make dessert last night without all the grains.  I adapted my recipe from my favorite food website, Nourished Kitchen.  While I would like to advertise it as sugar-free, it does have raw honey in it, which can, of course, be replaced with Stevia if you’re sensitive to even honey.

Pro-Tip: if you are like me and are not used to eating much fruit, don’t overdo it on the compote, as large quantities of stewed fruit can have a laxative effect.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COMPOTE with CRÈME ANGLAISE

Nature's Perfect Spring Duo

Ingredients:

  • one vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy cream (piskefløde), ideally from grass-fed cows
  • 3 tbsp raw honey, divided
  • 6 egg yolks from free-range, organic hens
  • 1 tbsp butter, ideally from grass-fed cows
  • 500 grams rhubarb, trimmed and diced
  • 500 grams strawberries, hulled and diced
  • zest and juice of one orange

Directions:

To make the crème anglaise, bring water to simmer in a double boiler or saucepan fitted with a bowl.

Scrape the contents of the vanilla bean into the cream and then pour the cream into the top of the double boiler.  Cook until hot.

Whisk in 1 tbsp of the raw honey, then transfer a tablespoon or two of the hot cream to your beaten eggs, whisking vigorously to temper them.

Transfer the tempered egg yolks into the cream and continue stirring slowly until the crème anglaise is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Transfer to a dish and allow it to rest while you prepare the compote.

To make the compote, melt butter in a saucepan over a moderate flame, then toss in rhubarb and sautee in butter until softened, about five to six minutes.

Stir in strawberries, remaining honey, and the juice and zest of one orange; reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook another three to four minutes until the berries are softened, but not mushy.

Transfer to ramekins and serve topped with the crème anglaise.

Makes 6 servings

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