My back yard forest has exploded with green and filled in all of the barren gaps left by the winter. I have a host of plants to forage here, most of which I’m just learning about. A few years ago, one of our local chefs prepared a rhubarb compote and topped it with whipping cream flavored with Grand Fir shoots but he didn’t provide instructions!
This week I decided to tackle it. I snipped some of the most tender shoots from one of my Grand Fir trees and tried making a tea by pouring boiling water over it. I let it sit on the counter overnight, but it just didn’t seem to have enough flavour. Dumped it.
Next I did the same, but I reduced the amount of water to about 3 tablespoons and squeezed the shoots as I drained them a few hours later. Good, but then I realized it was going to make the whipping cream much too runny. Dumped it.
Finally, I put some fresh shoots in my Vitamix, poured in some heavy cream and a little sugar and just blended the hell out of it.
I think I like it. I’ll let the ones who will eat it for dessert decide for themselves.
Serves 6 – 8
for the topping
- 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 6 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar
- zest of one organic lemon
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Combine all ingredients. Mix until clumpy, then refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped in 3/4 inch pieces
- 4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- juice of one organic lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar (type of your choice)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Combine all filling ingredients in a deep baking dish.
- Cover thickly with the topping.
- Since it will likely boil over, protect your oven by placing the dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake till top is golden brown and fruit bubbles up, about 45 minutes. Best served warm. Top with Grand Fir Whipped Cream.Grand Fir Infused Whipping Cream
- 500 ml. (2 cups) heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. sugar (or to taste)
- about 1/2 – 3/4 cup freshly picked Grand Fir shoots
Toss all in a high-speed blender. Select Variable speed, quickly turn to 10, then to High Speed. Watch carefully as it will only take about 10 -20 seconds to whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.