“ Brand: Asda / Type: Other Fruits „
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat - and if we aren't very careful it won't only be the goose that gets fat ! Why is it that so many of us ( me included ) seem to stuff ourselves silly with rich food and then live to rue the day ?
After a hearty Christmas dinner I always swear that not another thing will pass my lips for the rest of the day but sadly that plan always falls flat on its face as someone waves a very interesting looking chocolate box in my direction.
Come Boxing Day I am looking for something far lighter and easier to digest but I still love a dessert and a home-made ice cream is light, sweet and satisfying.
I freeze a certain amount of rhubarb but more often than not by the time we reach the Festive season I have used all of my own frozen rhubarb in pies, crumbles and fruit fools.
But Asda have a very palatable frozen sliced rhubarb on offer at around £2 for 500g.
The Adsa frozen rhubarb is packed into a clear plastic carton with a peel back lid and it does mention on the cardboard sleeve that Delia Smith recommends this as a `cheat` ingredient.
I am not convinced that you are cheating in any way shape or form if you use the Asda frozen sliced rhubarb, the rhubarb is picked and sliced so quickly that it retains the goodness and the freshness of the fruit.
You can see that the Asda rhubarb has been harvested when it is young, the size of the slices are a dead give-away. Young rhubarb is small and usually juicy whereas old rhubarb is far larger in circumference and tends to be a bit `woody`.
There is one subtle difference and that is the hue, fresh rhubarb is pink and pale green but the asda frozen rhubarb does look a couple of shades darker, though there is still a decent amount of pink flesh there.
Asda have added nothing to the rhubarb, it is 100 % natural and when it has been defrosted it is ready to use. The derfrosted rhubarb is not tough or stringy and it has been cleaned and cut well.
The fruit is unbelievably low in calories, 100g contains only 8 calories but by the time you have sweetened the naturally sharp fruit it will contain far more. Although I would like to use artificial sweeteners to sweeten the fruit I find that it causes the rhubarb to go `frothy` so I stick to using ordinary caster sugar.
You never know you too might be tempted to use some of the Adsa frozen rhubarb to make a light ice cream dessert to be enjoyed over the Festive season - if you are then here is the recipe.
400g of the Asda sliced frozen rhubarb
3 large eggs
50g caster sugar
a small carton of Asda double cream
75g icing sugar
a drop of Cointreau.
Put the Asda rhubarb in a bowl and let it thaw completely.
Put the egg whites into a spotlessly clean mixing bowl and whisk them until they stand in peaks, then add a little of the icing sugar at a time and whisk the mixture well in between each time.
Put the Asda double cream into a bowl and then whip it until it is thick, then add the egg
yolks to it. The next step is to add the rhubarb and the small amount of Cointreau to the cream and egg yolk mixture. Last but not least add the egg white and icing sugar to it and fold it all in together.
Spoon the mixture into a plastic container and then put it into the freezer for about three hours.
I like to serve it in a clear glass dessert glass and then grate some dark chocolate on the top.
Asda rhubarb is a handy stand by and on a cold winters day there is nothing quite like a good dish full of rhubarb crumble and custard or a slice of warm rhubarb tart and cream.
The Asda frozen sliced rhubarb is a good product and although the frozen fruit does lose some of its firmness when it thaws it still works perfectly in all of the recipes.
It may seem a funny time of year to be writing a review about rhubarb. However my middle son, who is 12, is through to the second round of a cookery competition in a few weeks time where he has to cook a three course meal. In his wisdom he decided that the desert he wanted to make would have rhubarb in it, so rhubarb I had to buy. Now as you may know rhubarb is out of season at the moment and it is very difficult to find fresh rhubarb in the shops (except Waitrose where it costs £2.99 for 400g) so for a trial run I decided we would give frozen rhubarb a go. The only place I managed to get it was Asda. So this review is for a 500g tub of Asda - ripe and juicy - sliced rhubarb, from the freezer section. It cost £1.98, so quite a bit cheaper than buying it fresh for his practise run.
The rhubarb comes in a clear plastic tub which is recyclable (unless you live within a local authority that don't recycle plastic tubs and pots, like I do.) and has a 'pull back' plastic film top (not recyclable). Wrapped around the tub is a cardboard sleeve (recyclable) that has a picture of the product, nutritional and storage information, how to prepare and a recipe for Oaty Rhubarb Crumble.
There is also a little stamp that says - 'a Delia CHEAT! Ingredient' I am not sure why Delia uses frozen Rhubarb as a cheat (unless its just useful out of season) because you couldn't really get a more simple fruit to prepare. Wash, Slice - use!!
The labeling also says that the rhubarb is ' Frozen from within hours of harvesting for locked in freshness'. It doesn't say how many hours - it could be 523 hours!!! There is no indication as to where the rhubarb has come from.
As the packaging is clear, it is easy to see exactly what you are buying. The rhubarb looks a good colour - lots of pink and a greenish shades. It was chopped into lengths of roughly 2cm. I was pleased with what I saw. As I peeled back the lid the smell was not strong, as you would expect from this fruit, but it was definitely 100% rhubarb!
The packaging suggests you defrost at room temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours which we did. I thought as it was frozen it may turn to mush but I was pleasantly surprised that after it had defrosted it looked quite fresh and had retained its shape.
For the purposes of my son's recipe we needed to stew the rhubarb with brown sugar, which we did. This took longer than the time I would usually allow for stewing fresh rhubarb. Some of the larger pieces seemed quite tough. I instructed my son to add the amount of brown sugar that I thought we should use (I prefer rhubarb slightly more tart, my son would definitely go for much sweeter!) but the rhubarb was incredibly sharp and he needed to add a lot of extra sugar to make it edible without wincing.
The stewed rhubarb looked the part and was a lovely pinky colour. It looked good on his cheesecake (Ginger & Vanilla cheesecake with rhubarb compot).
~Would I buy this again?~
The answer has to be - in an emergency! It looked good and was easy to use but if I hadn't stewed it and had just put it as a base for a crumble (as the packaging suggests) I think you would have found it very tough. It was also incredibly sour. This is why it only gets 3 stars from me. Fresh rhubarb, when you can get it, is far superior.
As an aside my son has changed his desert to Tart Tartin - He didn't like the rhubarb! Now we just have to practise that one and the two other courses. Wish me luck!!
Thank you for reading.