Yes, it's really called rhubarb something.

It's a bit more catchy than stewed rhubarb with almond sponge topping, or rhubarb and almond pudding, isn't it?

That's what I thought. It's also how I described it to my father when standing over the rhubarb in the supermarket, trying to decide exactly how much I needed for the glorious concoction that would grace the seder table for dessert this year.

This is absolutely in no way an elegant dessert. This is homely and comforting and what you want after roast chicken. This is sharp rhubarb topped with sweet almond sponge, baked in a large container. This is a proper pudding.

This is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and stuck together with sugar.

Ingrediments for about six people

  • Almond sponge
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
    • 125g (4oz) ground almonds


Preheat the oven to 190° Celsius.

Wash and trim the rhubarb, then cut into chunks approximately 2.5cm (1 inch) long. Place the rhubarb in a large oven-proof container and sprinkle with the sugar and orange zest and mix well.

Cover and place in the oven for anything between fifteen minutes and half an hour. The rhubarb should be soft, but retaining its shape. There will probably be quite a bit of liquid.

When the rhubarb is cooked use a slotted spoon to drain and remove it to a baking dish approximately 30cm by 25cm, and 5cm deep (12 x 10 x 2 inches). Lower the oven temperature to 180° Celsius.

Meanwhile, as the rhubarb is cooking, you should prepare the topping. Begin by whisking the egg whites until stiff.

Whip together the yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the ground almonds.

Fold in the egg whites, being careful to retain the air bubbles that will give the sponge its floaty-lightness. The sugar and almond mixture is stiff and sticky so you will need to be patient.

Pour the almond mixture over the drained rhubarb. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the sponge is risen and golden and eat it with cream or ice cream if you are that way inclined.

A note on the rhubarb. I prefer a sharper, sourer flavour in the rhubarb to contrast with the sweet stickiness of the almond topping. This might be too sharp for you, in which case you should adjust the sugar quantity accordingly.

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