, Step by step

Pumpkin seed shortbread with rhubarb compote

A fresh and fruity snack.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service.

Preparation Time: 90 mins

Cooking Time: 8-12 mins

Serves: 6


  • Step 1

    In a large saucepan add the chopped rhubarb, sugar and grated ginger and bring to the boil, simmer on a low heat.

  • Step 2

    After 1 hour add the strawberries and cook for a further ten minutes. Leave to cool and place into a sealed container in the fridge.

  • Step 3

    Cream the butter and sugar then add the egg yolks. Add the zest and finely the flour. Bring it gently together and roll into a log shape to form the shortbread.

  • Step 4

    Roll the outside of the log in the pumpkin seeds and then place into the fridge to firm up.

  • Step 5

    Cut the shortbread into ¾ cm thick disks and bake through the oven at 160°C until light brown.

  • Step 6

    Serve with the compote.


This month’s mouthwatering recipe from Mark combines a portion of fruit with a shortbread made with part wholemeal flour and with added pumpkin seeds to show that even traditional teatime treats can be made slightly healthier by adapting and combining different ingredients.

Rhubarb is in season from around December to September and is a good source of fibre. Although we think of it as a fruit, it’s actually a vegetable because it does not produce seeds. Rhubarb has a long history as food, eaten in England since the 18th century, but it was used as medicine in Ancient China.

The wholemeal flour and seeds in the shortbread add extra fibre and the portion of rhubarb and strawberry compote that accompanies it provides one of your five a day but because rhubarb is so sour you do need quite a bit of sugar to make it edible!

You could combine the rhubarb compote with low fat yogurt at breakfast. However, if you are watching your weight it would be worth cooking the rhubarb with a powdered sweetener – a new one recently launched in the UK is called Truvia – it’s made from the South American Stevia plant and is ideal for sweetening fruit.