It is not very often that I find fresh rhubarb in stores. At least not where I live. So the last time I went grocery shopping, the fleshy reddish stalks immediately caught my eye. It was time to make rhubarb compote again—one of my favorite things to eat. As a kid—I grew up in Belgium—we used to get plenty of fresh rhubarb from our neighbors’ garden. I remember peeling the stalks with our hands and immediately enjoying them by dipping them lightly into a pot of brown sugar or honey. The watery, crispy stalks have a strong tart taste that is toned down by the sweet dip. Anyone who had been reading my previous posts knows by now that I love that sweet and sour balance. I guess I even did as a kid. Rhubarb, combined with other fruits, makes a beautiful, tasty compote. You can enjoy it as a snack, a topping or pair it with yogurt, granola, or spread it on a piece of dark farmer’s bread and butter—I even love it with cooked or mashed potatoes. But this time, we are making light and sweet biscuits. They are not only flavored and baked with the delicious compote but also served with it. The multiple flavors of rhubarb, pears, rosemary, and cloves all beautifully come together at the end once the biscuits are cooled. Did I mention they are also gluten-free?
Don’t let the length of the recipes scare you off. Both the compote and the biscuits are incredibly easy to make. You can always opt to make the compote first and store in the refrigerator to make the biscuits later in the week. To make the compote we pair the rhubarb with sweet ripe peers and deepen the flavor with whole cloves. The pears and a little bit of maple syrup mild down the tart flavor of the rhubarb. The result is a warm, aromatic compote that is slightly sweet with a beautiful fruity flavor. We make about 5 1/2 cups, enough to use some for making the biscuits and serve the rest as a spread.
The biscuits are perfect for breakfast or Sunday brunch. They taste slightly sweet but have that wonderful aromatic smell of rosemary that you can also faintly taste with each bite. Heavenly soft on the inside, they become lightly moist when filled with the fruity compote, while getting that slight crunch from the crispy top.