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May 14, 2010 03:08 PM

Holy mother of G*d rhubarb!!

My MIL brought me a good 3-4 pounds of rhubard from her garden last weekend, and I've been looking for recipes on how to use it up.

I kept seeing crisp after pie after crisp on epicurious, with a few chutneys thrown in for good measure. I settled on one pie/cake, which says for the filling to throw together some chunked rhubarb and brown sugar and then make the dough. I tried it just now for the sweet/sour balance and OMG is it good. I'm not making the cake. I'm just going to eat big bowls of rhubard with brown sugar until the crop runs out this summer.

If you haven't tried it - it is heavenly. Cold and crunchy, sweet and sour, and with that wonderful floral scent. Who knew? You don't need to cook the stuff. I feel like Newton right after he got whacked by that apple.

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  1. I think you're my hero.

    I ADORE rhubarb, but am loathe to buy or grow it because I am the only one in my household who likes it/I'm too lazy to bake pies or crisps during the rhubarb season/I can't justify the calories I would undoubtedly consume if I did bake pies or crisps--for myself.

    Thank you, THANK you!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamaciita

      I'm so jealous. In addition to beans (Some thing I rarely cook), I'm also supposed to make a rhubarb crisp for 80. Main problem - haven't yet seen ANY rhubarb in my little north central Nv town!

    2. I love rhubard fool, bet you could find a recipe online.

      1. Roasted rhubarb. Cut into 2-1inch lengths, toss with however much brown or white sugar you like, roast at 350 - don't stir - until soft and caramelized. Yes, you can eat it plain but why not a little ice cream?"

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nyleve

          Oh, yes, yes, YES! I've been eating roasted rhubarb on oatmeal for a week. You know what really put it over the top? I started it with some homemade raspberry vodka. That mostly cooked off, but the syrup was magnificent.

        2. I love rhubarb. But do you mean to say you ate raw rhubarb tossed in brown sugar? That's a surprise, if so. I've got a pound of rhubarb from my garden just now, just a bit too little for a pie. Some alternatives will interest me.

          15 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            I used to eat the raw stalks, dipped in sugar, when I was a kid. I always liked the sour rather than the sweet, but rhubarb requires some sweet to make it palatable. You can freeze it quite successfully, if you don't have enough for a specific recipe.

            One rhubarb dessert I don't see mentioned here often is rhubarb cream pie. My mom made it, you know, because strawberries and rhubarb don't appear in the same season, or leastwise didn't in our garden. It's essentially a sweetened custard filling made with eggs, sugar and cream, poured over fresh cut rhubarb and baked. It develops a sugary crust and is a nice combination of sweet/sour. The recipe I have is from the 1965 Farm Journal Pie cookbook, which has lot's of other sorts of forgotton pie recipes, including one made with Concord grapes.

            Chow poster Christina Mason has a delicious recipe for a rhubarb custard cake at her blog. It's easy to put together and you don't need much rhubarb for the recipe:


            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Me too. I found that raw rhubarb can give you a stomach ache, if you eat a lot of it. I much prefer it cooked now.

              I made a rhubarb and raspberry jam the other day, which is really, really good.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                Wow..what a gorgeous custard cake you think any fruit could be subbed in until I get my hands on some rhubarb?

                1. re: alidrum

                  Whatcha got? I bet most fruit would work, stone fruits especially, raspberries or blueberries, but not strawberries, I don't like them baked in cakes; pears or apples in the fall, tossed with brown sugar, even canned fruits like apricots, peaches or pineapple chunks. I suggest canned pineapple because often there's a leavening overreaction with fresh pineapple and chemical leavening agents, which could result in an overflow.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    I think you're right about the strawberries, might get too mushy. Pineapple is a good idea, might try that tomorrow. Once peaches are in season that is a definite. I'll update on the experiments....

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      Thanks for mentioning my recipe. I think bushwickgirl's recommendations are right on. Tart apples or small Italian prune plums (also sour) would be good, I think. Pineapple is an interesting twist, too!

                  2. re: bushwickgirl

                    We always ate raw rhubarb dipped in sugar between bites. My grandmother had special little dipping saucers for the sugar, in fact.

                    We used the same little saucers to dip scallions in salt. lol Yum.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      This batch of stocks is really huge (thick, that is). Would you first slice them down the middle? I am supposing that there must be a sweet-tart balance in this raw-eating approach, as with anything one does with rhubarb...

                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        Sure, if they're that big. To be honest, I've never had to split rhubarb stalks, though. Use your good judgement.

                        The sweet-tart balance with rhubarb is important, as the sour aspect can easily overwhelm the dish. Even if you think you're might be using too much sweetener, you're probably not.

                        Btw, the flavor of orange goes well with rhubarb and I've used orange juice in rhubarb sauce.

                      2. re: bushwickgirl

                        I make rhubarb sour cream pie - there are a couple of variations on I think it's my all-time favourite pie - the filling a little on the sour side and a sweet
                        crumble topping. I also like rhubarb chutney with grilled cheese sandwiches made with sharp cheddar (there's a recipe on epi with Ginger and balsamic vinegar). It's like a more complex ketchup! And with pork as mentionned - chops or sausages.

                      3. re: Bada Bing

                        Raw, cut up, tossed with sugar. An absolute revelation. And I preferred it right after tossing with the sugar to a few hours later when it macerated somewhat and got soft and juicy. Try it - you will love it!!!

                        1. re: Bada Bing

                          When I was little we used to eat it raw by the stalk, each bite dipped into a dish of brown sugar as you went. Sitting on the porch steps in the sun.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            That's how I did it, except I chunked it first. Sooo good. But I do have a question about the way you were doing it. I was under the impression, for some reason, that I need to peel off the outside because it is either poisonous or will upset my stomach. If you were crunching it out of the garden, were you eating it peel on?

                            1. re: sasha1

                              Actually Sasha - the leaves are to be poisonous and you don't want to eat them, but the ribs are fine and don't need to be peeled (unless you prefer them that way).

                              1. re: JerryMe

                                Thanks for the tip. To think of all the pretty red peels I've been wasting...

                        2. Rhubarb Soup!

                          Simmer some with brown sugar and vanilla, then stir into oatmeal or top pancakes or waffles.... Or fill doughnuts...