Mascarpone, Rhubarb, and Vanilla Bean Verrine with Oat Streusel

This is a super great dessert for spring and summer dinner parties, for many reasons - minimal oven time, simple, fresh, and perfect to make ahead. Not that I would know anything about dinner parties because I don't even have a dining table in order to have people over for dinner, but I can imagine. Or, even better, for a picnic! Instead of glasses, make them in jars and keep them in the cooler and the streusel in a separate container. Once again, not that I would know because I don't have a cooler. 

I'm not usually the kind of person to mash everything up on my plate and eat it all together. Nope, I like to eat things most separately. It's not like the potatoes can't ever touch the broccoli, but I prefer to eat one and then the other. Not mixing and mashing, thanks. If it was meant to be eaten together, they'd be together.

Anyways, as you can plainly see, I mashed this thing up real good. And no, not just for photos. I actually finished getting the shots I wanted (so I thought) of the dessert looking all nice and neat. I sat down on my floor next to my tripod and tucked into one of the glasses. I found that I couldn't get the perfect bite that included a bit of everything, so I just stirred it all up. 

Who cares what it looks like now, I'm done with the photos, so whatever.

After a few (perfect) bites that included all components, I set the glass down on the table to answer a text from my phone in the kitchen. I returned and looked at the glass. The rhubarb compote looked like dye diffusing into water, bright red against the stark white of the mascarpone cream. Flecks of oat streusel interspersed it all. It looked like a little nebula of delicious fruit and cream. And another half hour of taking photos ensued. 

The photo above is the glass exactly how I left it mid-bite, no styling. It figures that when I try, it looks okay, but when I'm sitting on my ass on the floor, I create something really beautiful. Figures, hey?

Mascarpone, Rhubarb, and Vanilla Bean Verrine with Oat Streusel

Rhubarb Compote

400 g rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 vanilla bean
100 g granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Mascarpone Cream

100 g mascarpone, at room temperature
200 g heavy cream
5 g vanilla paste

Rhubarb Compote
barb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 vanilla bean
100 g granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Oat Streusel
Recipe from The Modern Café

160 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160 g granulated sugar
160 g pastry flour
112 g old-fashioned (rolled) oats
2 g salt
3 g ground cinnamon
3 g vanilla powder

Place 5 to 7 glasses in the fridge to chill while you make the components.

For the rhubarb compote, place the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the pot, along with the pod. Stirring often, cook the compote until the juices release and start to bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer for a 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Transfer the compote to a airtight container.

For the mascarpone cream, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and add one-third of the heavy cream, stirring until the mascarpone has loosened. Fold in the remaining cream. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a circular tip and pipe the cream halfway up into your prepared glasses. Reserve the remaining cream in the piping bag.

Spoon the compote into the glasses on top of the mascarpone. Carefully pipe the remaining mascarpone cream on top, reaching almost to the top of the glass.

Chill until set, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the streusel. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Combine the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until everything is combined. 

Add the pastry flour and pulse the mixer until all the flour has been incorporated. Add the oats, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla powder, and pulse until just combined.

Rub the streusel through a wire rack to obtain evenly sized morsels of streusel. 

Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Break up any large pieces and transfer everything to an airtight container. You will have extra streusel leftover, but it is great sprinkled over ice cream or mixed into yogurt.

When you are ready to serve the verrines, garnish with a generous amount of streusel and dust with icing sugar.

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