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Blog and News

The Kitchen Garden: Rhubarb

9th April 2018

Historically, Parham’s four-acre Walled Garden has provided a wealth of food and cut flowers for the House. This tradition continues today, with freshly cut blooms for the stunning flower arrangements, and fruit and vegetables for the family and for the visitors who eat in Parham’s Big Kitchen.

Our new monthly Kitchen Garden Series will include tips from the Gardening Team on growing your own produce and a delicious seasonal recipe from private chef and food stylist Nicola Richman, who comes to Parham at various times throughout the year to cook for the family.

We’re starting spring with a seasonal favourite, rhubarb. One of the earliest spring crops, it is grown at Parham in terracotta forcing pots to encourage the spectacular stalks to mature earlier. Click here to view a video of our Kitchen Gardener Max with his tips for forcing rhubarb.

From the garden to the kitchen…

“Working as a private chef, I have been coming to Parham to cook for the family for a number of years. Parham is a beautiful house surrounded by remarkable gardens, where the gardening team grow first-class produce. The family love using as much of this as possible and it is without doubt one of my favourite parts of the job. The team strive to grow a varied crop that is both unusual and always delicious, from purple cauliflowers to micro greens and heritage tomatoes. Every day there is a wonderful array, which I try to celebrate in the dishes as often as I can.” 

Nicola Richman, Private Chef, Food Stylist and Writer

Rhubarb and Frangipane Tart

For the pastry:
200g plain flour
2tbsp icing sugar
100g cold unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
300g rhubarb, sliced into chunks, on the diagonal
2tbsp golden caster sugar
Juice of one orange
125g soft unsalted butter, plus extra
125g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g ground almonds
1tsp vanilla paste
1tbsp plain flour

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. To make the pastry, tip the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl, dice the butter into cubes and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and knead the dough together, until combined. Try not to overwork the dough too much. Wrap in cling film, then chill the dough for 20 minutes.

2. Place the rhubarb chunks on a baking tray and sprinkle over the sugar and the juice. Bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.

3. Once the dough has rested, roll it out until it is the thickness of a pound coin. Carefully transfer the pastry to a 23cm tart tin, pushing it into the corners. Leave the pastry to chill for 20 minutes.

4. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill this with baking beans. Bake the tart for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and cook for another 5 minutes until golden. Once out of the oven trim any overhanging pastry with a serrated knife.

5. While the tart shell is baking, make the frangipane. Beat the butter and golden caster sugar together until light and creamy, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Fold through the ground almonds, flour and the vanilla. Once the tart shell is golden, spoon in the frangipane, and press the rhubarb into the frangipane (reserving any cooking liquid), then bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until the frangipane is set.

6. Remove the tart from the oven, and let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Brush the reserved rhubarb cooking liquid over the tart as it cools.

Find out more about Nicola Richman here or follow her Instagram account here.