Posts Tagged ‘Rhubarb’

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Rhubarb Pie with Cardamom and Orange

April 29, 2015

The rhubarb in our garden is getting bigger every day, and I can’t wait until there’s enough of it to make some delicious summer desserts! Here’s one I made last year that I’m hoping to make again this summer.

This rhubarb pie recipe (from Bon Appetit Desserts) was supposed to have a lattice crust, but I decided to make it when I only had a single pie crust in my fridge, and I didn’t feel like making a second just for the lattice. :) So I used scraps from the single crust and cut out lots of dots to cover the surface with. I’m not sure if a true lattice would have prevented some of the bubbliness and drips around the edges, but the dots effect looked cool and it’s easy enough to use a cookie sheet underneath the pie plate to catch any drips. The filling certainly didn’t lose too much moisture from not being more covered!

I love fruit desserts that are on the tart(er) side, so rhubarb has always been one of my favorite “fruits” in dessert. We really enjoyed the subtle complexity that the cardamom and orange added to the flavor of the filling, without overwhelming the flavor of the rhubarb itself. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this makes the perfect early-summer dessert.

Rhubarb pie with cardamom and orange

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Rhubarb Strawberry Pudding Cake

July 2, 2013

Last weekend I purchased 4 quarts of locally-grown strawberries at the market, and in between taking some to snack on at work every day, I’ve been on the lookout for recipes I’ve never tried before. I also had a small amount of rhubarb left from what my dad had given me: just enough to make up the 2 cups called for in this cake recipe from Gourmet Today. Perfect!

Pudding cakes are super easy to throw together… no electric mixers, no special pans, no layers, no frosting. This one only takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, including baking and cooling time! As it bakes, the cake batter soaks up some of the fruit layer on the bottom, and the whole dessert turns out deliciously moist and tender. The tartness of the rhubarb keeps this version from being overly sweet, which I appreciate. This cake is definitely going on my make-again list!

Rhubarb strawberry pudding cake

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Warm Tapioca Pudding with Rhubarb

July 1, 2013

My dad gave me a second small batch of rhubarb last week, but it wasn’t enough to make the rhubarb crème brûlée I’ve been eyeing, which uses 2 pounds. This tapioca pudding recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook only calls for half a pound, which left me enough to make a small batch of rhubarb fool too. :)

The first unusual thing I noticed about this recipe was that the tapioca is cooked in water, not milk. Any time I’ve made tapioca in the past, it’s made like a custard and the tapioca is cooked in the hot milk before slowly adding eggs. This recipe has no eggs and the only dairy is ¼ cup of half-and-half! There is also very little sugar in the tapioca itself as most of it is used to sweeten the rhubarb. Finally, this is served warm, so it is much looser than a chilled pudding.

At first I wasn’t sure how much I liked the way this pudding turned out, but it grew on me after a few more bites. :) The rhubarb topping has a nice peppery kick to it and the texture of the warm tapioca was really interesting. Definitely not a kid-friendly dessert as it’s not very sweet overall, but it would be perfect for an elegant and light dessert to serve after a heavier dinner party. I think the rhubarb topping would also be tasty on top of a chilled tapioca custard pudding if you’d prefer to stay a bit more traditional.

Warm tapioca pudding with rhubarb

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Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel Topping

June 22, 2013

My dad grows rhubarb in his garden and he’ll periodically bring me a bunch or two when it starts to get too large. I am always excited to receive it! Rhubarb is definitely under-appreciated as vegetables go, probably in part due to poor preparation. Raw rhubarb stalks are incredibly tart, and if they’re very thick, they can also be fibrous near the base. These factors are certainly challenges to work with, but if you peel the bases of the thickest stalks and temper the tartness with the right amount of sugar (but not too much!), rhubarb has an awesome fruity flavor that can really shine in a lot of different dishes.

As much as I love rhubarb fools, this time I was itching to try something different, something that didn’t involve cooking the rhubarb down. While I was browsing through back issues of Saveur online, I came across these muffins. Rhubarb in muffins? Definitely fit my criteria of something different! I was fairly surprised that the rhubarb is added to the muffin batter raw; it seemed like it wouldn’t lose its tartness and would stay too crunchy. But I figured they had tested the recipe and probably knew what they were talking about, so I added the rhubarb raw as written! And the recipe writers were correct: the rhubarb softened enough and turned sweet during baking, similar to blueberry muffins. Enough of the tartness remained to nicely complement the sweetness of the streusel topping. Overall a great success! Gave one to my dad as a thanks for the rhubarb and he said it looked and tasted like it was from a professional bakery. Thanks, Dad! :)

Rhubarb muffins with streusel topping

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

May 16, 2012

In addition to the small amount of rhubarb left over from making rhubarb fool earlier in the week, my dad gave me more from his garden on Sunday afternoon. What to do? (The answer is always: browse through cookbooks until something makes me salivate.) Although it’s not yet strawberry season here, Wegmans had some large 2-pound packs from California on sale super cheap, and having strawberries on hand would greatly expand my possibilities for the rhubarb. This recipe in the Gourmet cookbook looked perfect: 2 pounds of strawberries and 1½ pounds of rhubarb, and no other unusual ingredients that would necessitate a trip back to the store. This was also a really simple recipe to make! No special equipment (like food processors or mixers) and no time-consuming procedures (like making pie dough). Just cut up the fruit and mix with the sugar, mix together the topping, put in in a dish, bake, and you’re done!

A word of warning, however. Instead of just shaking the excess water off, I think I should have patted the rhubarb and strawberries dry before slicing them. The crumble turned out fairly soupy, even the next day after being in the fridge all night. Despite the looser-than-normal consistency, this recipe is delicious and I’d definitely make it again. The tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries are wonderful together – I can understand why they are so often seen in combination!

Strawberry rhubarb crumble

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Rhubarb Fool

May 14, 2012

Rhubarb season has finally started here in upstate New York, which means it’s time to make one of my favorite rhubarb desserts: Rhubarb fool! A fool is an English fruit dessert made from cooked/puréed fruit and whipped cream. These ingredients can be either blended together or layered attractively in a parfait glass; I prefer the look and texture of the layered variety. It seems most rhubarb desserts include a second fruit (such as strawberries) to overcome the tartness of the rhubarb, but the test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen found that soaking the raw rhubarb in cold water for about 20 minutes tempered the sour flavor. The dessert still has a bit of tartness, but the whipped cream offsets and complements this with its sweetness.

The rhubarb mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept refrigerated, so all you have to do before assembling is whip the cream. A perfect refreshing dessert for a party on a sunny late-spring day!

Rhubarb fool

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