This farm we are living at for our final few weeks in NZ is exquisite. We are loving the freshness of it. Fresh veges, fresh winds, fresh mornings of breakfast on the deck.
The garden is expansive and perfectly manicured. Every day there is produce to collect – from raspberries and peaches to aubergines and eggs. On the first day of Autumn J snapped away while I watered and harvested. Although I don’t usually share photos of myself, I thought the vibe you get from these shots was rather lovely. It really does feel like we are self-sustainable.
The rhubarb has been prolific. Although it isn’t as red as what we commonly think of rhubarb as being, it still makes for some beautiful dishes. We love it lightly stewed with lemon, sugar and a dash of ginger, served warm with homemade yoghurt, or dolloped on our muesli for breakfast. But when I have a hankering for baking, ‘lightly stewing’ doesn’t quite cut it! I had heard hazelnuts and rhubarb were a good pair, so I played around and re-created this following recipe. With a special friend to finally meet in person, I thought this could well make a suitable host gift. This slice is light, tangy and delightfully fresh. A lovely way to transition into Autumn.
100g wholemeal flour
30g oatmeal (rolled oats ground in food processor)
40g hazelnut powder (roasted, peeled hazelnuts ground in food processor)
40g raw cane sugar
70g hazelnut paste (recipe below)
3 tablespoons, plus 65g divided, raw cane sugar
1 ¼ tablespoons cornflour
For the hazelnut paste:
Grind 1 cup of roasted nuts until it becomes the texture of cornmeal. Add 1 large egg white and 1/2 a cup of icing sugar. Blend until smooth.
You can also purchase good quality hazelnut paste online or from specialty food stores.
Preheat the oven at 200°C. Combine together in a bowl the flour, hazelnut powder, oatmeal and the 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Add the hazelnut paste and the beaten egg. Mix well with your fingers until it becomes a dough. Press firmly and evenly into a lined rectangular baking tin. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place rhubarb, strawberries and the 1/3 cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Do not add water as the rhubarb will emit a lot of liquid as it cooks. Boil until the rhubarb is pulpy soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, puree in blender or food processor, and set aside.
Whisk eggs and sugar together. Once the puree mixture has cooled to a lukewarm temperature, whisk it into the eggs along with the sifted cornflour until thick and well combined. Pour this over the base as while it the base is still warm.
Reduce oven heat to 160C (320F). Return slice to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the topping is set and slightly puffed all over.
Cool completely in tin. Cut carefully into squares (it can be fairly ‘wobbly’). Dust with icing sugar just before serving.