Perennial vegetables

Rhubarb jammy dodgers

Rhubarb and vanilla jam jammy dodger














We held our Spring Supper Club a couple of weeks ago (click here if you don’t know what I’m on about). I always like to make a petit four, an after-dinner frippery, which stems from the fact that I would most probably make it an ‘Afters Club’ if I possibly could. So two puddings suit me. But when you’re trying to use the sort of ingredients found in your garden – as we do – sweet things are TRICKY in spring, when really all you have to play with is rhubarb. So for pudding I went for sweet flavours, rather than fruit, and we had scented lemon geranium posset with lemon geranium sherbet, and bolstered the whole thing with orange thyme shortbread. Plant-based St Clements stylings in posset/shortbread form. It was pretty fine.

That left rhubarb available, and I had to blog this, because I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made: home-made jammy dodgers filled with rhubarb and vanilla jam, to have with tea. Adding vanilla to the jam gives it a creamy, custardy taste, which obviously makes rhubarb very happy. The tiny black vanilla seeds suspended in the dusky pink jam made for about the most beautiful jam I have ever seen, and there’s plenty of competition.  The biscuits are buttery, smooth and full of vanilla themselves. Altogether a HIT.

Obviously you can substitute this for any kind of jam as the season goes on – I rather fancy a gooseberry jammy dodger – but I found the recipe for my jam here.

And here’s the recipe for the biscuits:

110g softened butter

50g icing sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g plain flour

25g cornflour

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4 and line a baking tray with parchment. Cream together the butter and icing sugar, then add egg yolk (then mix), vanilla extract (mix), flour (fold), cornflour (fold), salt (er…mix). You are left with nearly a dough and need to use your hands to JUST bring it all together while being careful not to overwork. Biscuits want snap, and kneading makes for less of it. Roll out to the ubiquitous £1 coin thickness, and start cutting. I used my smallest cutter for cuteness but you could make them bigger. I made the hole in the middle with the tube that had held the vanilla pods and used the end of a straw to make the pattern on the top. You don’t need me to tell you to make the same number of plain bottoms and fancy tops, right…? Bake for about ten minutes. You want them pale, still. Cool on a rack, assemble whenever, and serve to *thrilled* guests.

If you are interested in finding out about the next supper club menu and dates before the rest of the world, please do sign up for our mailing list . There will be more of this kind of thing, but over flowing with summertime garden bounty next time. Fun, fun.

PS We are in north Bristol. I always assume that people know – though there is no reason in the world that they should – and have to disappoint a couple of Australians. And I hate that.