When I signed up months ago to do the chef demonstration at Chicago’s Green City Market, I knew that rhubarb would be a safe bet, always a delight for me.Â My Grandma O’Brien grew it behind the garage, and I remember the rhubarb pie made from this strange pink celery.Â Yesterday Peter Klein of Seedling Fruit provided the rhubarbÂ (from his orchard just five miles from me in Michigan)Â and I brought thyme from my vegetable garden at Pinecone Meadow.
Thyme shortcakes with rhubarb ginger compote
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small chunks
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 egg, slightly beaten for glaze
Rhubarb ginger compote
6 cups 1-inch pieces rhubarb (about two pounds)
1 cup granulated sugar, or more to taste
Â¼ cup water
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
To make the shortcakes, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Add butter and shortening and, using fingers or a pastry blender, work ingredients together until dough resembles coarse meal. Stir in thyme. Add buttermilk and gently stir until dough comes together. Turn on to lightly floured surface and pat into circle about Â¾-inch thick. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut ten 2-inch biscuits and brush tops with beaten egg. Place on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 -25 minutes.
To make the compote, stir together rhubarb with sugar, water ginger and salt in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rhubarb becomes soft, about 15 â€“ 20 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate. Can be made up to two days ahead.
To serve, slice each shortcake horizontally. Place bottom half on dessert bowl and top with about 1/3 cup compote. Layer with top of shortcake and another 1/3 cup of compote.
Recipe courtesy of Janine MacLachlan, The Rustic Kitchen. www.RusticKitchen.com. All rights reserved.