Pretty in Pink: Roasted Rhubarb Tiramisu makes Sprinter somewhat bearable

Roasted Rhubarb Tiramisu

Roasted Rhubarb Tiramisu

Sprinter: that horrible time between Winter and Spring where the weather is completely blah and there seems to be both mud and ice freaking everywhere.

While there are approximately 18 zillion things to loath about this time of year, the one saving grace is the wonderful crossover of the tail end of citrus season with the first signs of my favourite tart stalk, rhubarb.

The sweetness of an orange and the tangy sourness of rhubarb play so well together in this oh-so untraditional take on tiramisu. It's the perfect "I'm totally over Winter, bring on Spring" dessert.

Roasted Rhubarb Tiramisu with Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio

Serves 8

For the rhubarb:
½ cup sugar
1 orange, zested and juiced
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
6 cups rhubarb, sliced on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
One 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

For the tiramisu cream filling:
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cups mascarpone cheese
¾ cup chilled whipping cream

For assembly:
¼ cup boiling water
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ cup orange juice
½ cup liquid from roasted rhubarb
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
20–24 store bought ladyfingers
1 cup chopped pistachios

To prepare the rhubarb, stir together the sugar, orange zest, and the pulp from the vanilla bean in a medium mixing bowl.  Add in the rhubarb, sliced ginger, scraped vanilla bean pod, and the juice of the orange into the bowl and stir well to combine.  Allow this to sit at room temperature for 25–30 minutes to allow the rhubarb to release some of its juices.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.  Roast the rhubarb, tossing once about halfway through, for 20–25 minutes or until tender and juicy.  Allow the rhubarb to cool to room temperature.

For the tiramisu cream filling, in a large glass or metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, powdered ginger, marsala, and orange liqueur together.  Place over a pot of simmering water and whip using a wire whisk or handheld electric mixer until the mixture has tripled in volume (this should take around 4-8 minutes).  Remove the bowl from the heat and beat in the vanilla and mascarpone.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature then fold the whipping cream into the mascarpone mixture.

For assembly, stir together the boiling water and powdered ginger in a shallow dish.  Add in the orange juice and orange liqueur.  Set out 8 individual serving dishes and quickly dunk the ladyfingers in the orange ginger mixture until they are lightly soaked.  Break a ladyfinger or two into each serving dish, top with a generous helping of the mascarpone mixture, a spoonful of the rhubarb, and a scattering of pistachios, and then repeat the layers.

Serve immediately or place in the fridge to firm up before serving.

Candied Oranges: They go with pretty much everything

Candied Oranges

Candied Oranges

I really can’t get over how beautiful and versatile candied oranges are.  Those sweet little chewy rounds are wonderful scattered atop cakes, stacked on a cheese board, or even popped onto the edge of a cocktail glass.

The orange-infused syrup that results from the candying process is just an added bonus.  Save it for cocktails or pour a good glug over French toast this weekend.

Candied Oranges

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 oranges, peel on and sliced as thinly as possible*

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  When boiling, add the orange slices, reduce the heat to low, and place a circle of parchment paper over the liquid to ensure that the orange slices stay completely submerged.

Simmer the citrus for 2 – 2 ½ hours then remove from the heat and allow the whole mixture to cool to room temperature. 

For a softer candied orange, remove the orange slices from the syrup and allow them to dry on a cooling rack for a few hours before using or packing into an airtight container with a small piece of parchment separating each slice.

For a chewier orange, heat your oven to 250F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the orange slices in a single layer on top.  Place a second sheet of parchment on top of the orange segments followed by another baking sheet.  Pop this into the preheated oven for 1 hour.  When done baking and the pan is cool enough to handle, remove the top pan and layer of parchment.  Carefully peel the candied orange slices from the bottom sheet of parchment and allow to cool.  Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Whether you want softer or chewier oranges, be sure to save that delicious syrup for cocktails or anything else that could use a syrupy orange kick!


*If, when slicing your oranges, you find it difficult to get thin and even slices, feel free to halve the orange and slice semicircles of the fruit for candying.