When it’s May in France, it’s time to make something with the first strawberries and rhubarb from the market with this Strawberry and Rhubarb Gratin. A healthy dessert made in just 30 minutes!
Strawberry Varieties at the Market
As the Cannes Film festival is underway in the South, strawberries are currently given the red carpet treatment at the market here up North. Entering the producers’ labyrinth, the gariguettes were paraded, as the mara des bois had already been cleaned out. This stand had it sussed: with their lids firmly in place, it sent a message to all French shoppers not to touch and sniff these gariguettes.
Instead we stood in the queue and gaped at the prize-winning beauties behind them. What variety were they? They didn’t have any. They were just strawberries, I was told. Quoi? Because they’re Portuguese and didn’t have a special variety.
Tasting one, it reminded me of picking strawberries as a child in Scotland (although the ones in Scotland were better!) It took 3 bites to finish it. Hm. ‘They’re not that sweet,’ I told the vendeur. Immediately, he knocked a couple of euros off the price, just as I was thinking how perfect they would be for a gratin.
With punnets of fraises Charlotte, Gariguettes, Ciflorettes (another conical sweet variety), and a tray of these oh-so-plainly-enormous strawberries, we could just about cope with balancing some rhubarb under the arm. As I have many more ideas for macarons in store for you, I need to use up some egg yolks. Don’t you love excuses like this? I love this simple dessert since it’s a quick, creamy fruity number that can be whisked together in half an hour and with only 111 Calories per serving!
Strawberry Rhubarb Gratin Recipe
A quick and easy elegant French dessert. Made even easier if you use ready-made rhubarb compote! Check out my favourite rhubarb compote recipe with hibiscus tea. Just surround the compote with strawberries in gratin dishes.
Then top with the delicious sabayon and place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes.
Enjoy with some poppy macarons (update: the recipe for Poppy and Rhubarb macarons is in my book, Teatime in Paris!) on the side and you have a gluten-free, stress-free dessert.
Rhubarb & Strawberry Gratin
- 400 g (14oz) strawberries
- 300 g (2-3 sticks) rhubarb
- 70 g (2.5oz) sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp thick double cream or crème fraîche
- Peel the rhubarb using a sharp knife, taking off all the stringy fibres. Wash well then cut into chunks.
- In a pan, cook the rhubarb chunks and 40g sugar with 150ml water. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut the bottoms off so they can stand neatly in a dish. If the strawberries are particularly big, cut them in half. Place the strawberries around the outside of 6 gratin dishes, and pile the rhubarb in the centre.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy. Whisk in the crème fraîche (or thick cream) and vanilla essence.Pour over the fruit then place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes.