Rhubarb – “It purifieth the bloud and makes young wenches look faire and cherry-like.” So says Gerard in his Herbal of 1597.
I can’t guarantee the same result for you, but check-out ‘rhubarb’ and ‘Yorkshire’ and your history books will lead you to the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’, more precisely a square of West Yorkshire between Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and Rothwell, famous since the early 19th century for the forcing of rhubarb. The soil here is good – originally enriched by all the muck from the nearby towns – and the Yorkshire climate is just perfect if you are a stick of rhubarb. And go to any allotment in West Yorkshire today and I’ll bet you a Rhubarb Spice Loaf you will find the stuff growing there in abundance.
So here’s a good way of using a glut of it; it makes a mixed spiced ‘bread’ (but more like cake) that tastes great, particularly buttered, and freezes well.
- 9 oz (255g) plain flour
- 1 rounded teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 level teaspoon nutmeg
- Good pinch of salt
- 5 oz (140g) soft margarine or butter
- 8 oz (225g) caster sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 oz (50g) raisins or sultanas
- 10 fl oz (half a pint) of rhubarb pulp
- Sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and all the spices
- Add all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and beat them together with a wooden spoon until well mixed
- Divide the mix between two well-greased 1lb loaf tins
- Bake for approximately 75 minutes in a moderate oven (Gas mark 4/350F, 180C ) until firm
See also Yorkshire Rhubarb Delight