A few days ago I caught up with someone who was once a very special person in my life. Years have gone by since we last conversed but she's still the same striking, unconventional, deeply intelligent and self-possessed woman that I remember. It's strange - even after so much time apart we met again with the same comfort and ease. Amidst the frantic pace, I'd resigned myself long ago to the thought of never seeing her again. Together in the silences, sitting close enough to trace her hands, her face, her lips; I wanted so much to cast off my remaining inhibitions and blurt out "I've never stopped loving you".
a dozen stems of freshly picked rhubarb (20cm long)2 mandarins, zested and juicedcastor sugarunsalted butter1 vanilla pod, split & scrapedall-purpose flourrapadura sugarlots of sheep's milk yoghurt
Give the rhubarb a rinse and dry.Finely slice stems and place in a small pot.
Dice the apple into small cubes and add to rhubarb.
Add mandarin juice to pot and cook over medium heat, stirring every now and then until apples have collapsed.
Add castor sugar to taste and cook for a few minutes until jammy.
Stir through mandarin zest and spoon into a ceramic dish.
Rub about half a cup of diced cold butter with a large pinch of castor sugar, a small pinch of salt, scraped vanilla seeds and enough flour to form a clumpy, breadcrumby consistency.
Sprinkle this over the rhubarb in a thick layer.