If you like a brandy after dinner, infuse-rhubarb-with-vanilla-and-brandy to create a classy dessert. It's a great taste enhancer for dessert crumbles.
Aren't familiar with what a brandy is?
The origin of the word Brandy means "fine wine" and it comes from the distillation of grape wine or the juices that have fermented from other kinds of fruits too like apples, or cherries for example. That type of brandy will be very strong in taste particular to whatever specific fruit was used.
Some particular brandies are made only from the leftover seeds and pulp following the wine-making process.
Different brandies are connected to particular regions in the world.
For example, Cognac is associated with regions in France, Metaxa brandy is common in Greece, Grappa is associated with the Italian brandy blends.
Though some people prefer it warmed while drinking it to enjoy the stronger vapors given off, others like to enjoy it at room temperature so that the texture and hidden tastes aren't masked so much from being heated up. It can be enjoyed slightly cooled too.
If you would like to enjoy your brandy in a different way, try putting that taste into your rhubarb to create a very appealing and tasty dessert.
10 rhubarb stalks chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons of your favorite brand of brandy
1 vanilla pod, or two capfuls of vanilla extract if that is all you have.
You don't want to cook this down too much, as the mixture is going to cook even more in the oven as well.
Start off by putting the brandy, sugar and rhubarb into a pot. Slice open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Throw them in the pot as well and bring to the boiling point at medium heat.
Keep an eye on it and give it a stir occasionally.
When boiling, turn the heat down and let simmer for 6 or 7 minutes. When the rhubarb has softened, take it off of the stove.
You can add a bit more sugar at this point according to your taste and stir it in.
Don't forget to take out the vanilla pod if that is what you used instead of vanilla extract.
Pour this mixture into a square glass/baking dish, or if you would like to serve people individually, pour into individual smaller ramekins.
Crumble toppings are easy to make and you can add or leave out certain spices. In this basic crumble mix, you could leave out the ginger, or go less on the cinnamon.
Your crumble when finished, should have a coarse texture to it like breadcrumbs or small peas. I find using my fingers to blend it together much easier.
½ cup white flour
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar or white if preferred
1/4 tsp ginger (optional)
Using a fork, or a pastry blender or your fingers, mix up the butter with the flour; add in the sugar, oats and then your spices. It doesn't matter in what order you do it.
Make sure it's evenly mixed and then sprinkle it evenly over each of your individual servings or over top your baking dish.
Bake at 350 F until crumble is a nice golden brown on top for 35–40 minutes (one baking dish)
Bake at 350 F 20–25 minutes if you are using individual serving dishes.
Crumbles are always lovely with creme fraiche, whipped cream or ice-cream while still slightly warm. If you do decide to infuse-rhubarb-with-vanilla-and-brandy, the plainest crumble is probably the best to go with, so you don't overwhelm the brandy and vanilla combination.