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Alice grows rose pelargonium (Pelargonium graveolens) in the old flower gardens. Recently, it’s decided to take up throughout the broken concrete paths that border those flower beds.
It’s a pretty, flowering plant that falls within the geranium family. Its leaves are scented and heady, and are great for cooking with. They have a unique flavour and are often used to perfume sugars, ice creams, cakes, jams and syrups. Rhubarb and rose is an incredible combination and one I’ve played with many times in the past.
But the flavour from the rose-scented geranium leaf is even more lovely.
4 large rhubarb sticks, trimmed and cut into 8–10cm (31⁄4–4in) pieces
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
2 tablespoons runny honey
8–10 rose geranium leaves
Heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
Arrange the rhubarb pieces in a single layer over a large shallow baking dish. Scatter over the sugar, trickle over the honey and 2 tablespoons of water and tear over the geranium leaves. Turn everything together.
Cover the dish tightly with a piece of foil and place in the oven for 20–35 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but not broken down. (timings will depend on how thick the chunks are).
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. I like to serve the rhubarb and its rosy geranium syrup with vanilla custard, and perhaps a buttery shortbread biscuit or two.
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