Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 28, 2012 12:15 PM

Beautifying rustic rhubarb

I was planning to bake a spectacular cake (or impressive pie) for a friend's fancy birthday dinner party. Now I find out, his favorite dessert is rhubarb crumble---delicious, but far from attractive. Any ideas on how to disguise it and still have it taste like rhubarb crumble? Thus far I've considered baking it in a tart shell, or hiding it under something like meringue or bruleed sugar (though I'm not exactly sure how I would manage the latter). Any ideas would be much appreciated. -pj

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Turn out the lights?

    I don't think I can be of much help as I would be doing cartwheels if someone served me a rhubarb crumble. To me it looks fantastic. But, I'll try.

    Maybe you could plate it with a quenelle of whipped cream on top with a fresh mint leaf on top of that giving the plate more color (red, golden brown, pure white, green) and height. This would help draw people's eyes to the garnish rather than the food they might think looks bad (although I can't see how a rhubarb crumble can be considered to look bad).

    1 Reply
    1. re: 1POINT21GW

      Don't get me wrong: I am not immune to the charms of a straightforward, homey dessert, but to cap off an elegant, special occasion, I admit, I am influenced by the va-va-va-voom factor. I want something I can present with a "ta-dah!" and be rewarded with tiny gasps! Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. And you're right---quenelles are a lovely way to elevate a dish.

    2. Individual crumbles baked in ramekins make for better presentation. These could then be plated with ice cream (maybe home made sour cream ice cream!) and/or the things already suggested.

      2 Replies
      1. re: julesrules

        Thanks, Jules. I also think having your own little dessert somehow makes you feel more pampered. And heaven knows, I have enough ramekins.

        1. re: pamela joy

          Place the warm ramekin on a sandwich plate, a quenelle/scoop of ice cream on the plate, and either a drizzle or puddle of a red puree/coulis - be it strawberry, raspberry, cherry, or cranberry. A sprig of mint atop either the ramekin or the ice cream.

      2. I know this may sound weird, but I often add (plant-based) red dye to my rhubarb baked dishes. The outer red is so brilliant, but gets lost when it's cooked. Also adding strawberries.

        1. You would always make a beautiful fruit flower on top of the casserole with sliced strawberries and black berries in the middle. Alternatively an elegant dessert with rhubarb is a short bread cookie with rhubarb on top. It seems to be I got the recipe from this web site.

          1. Having learned of from a recent Food Media & News Board topic, I thought of your question when I viewed this post of a beautiful rhubarb tart that may fit the bill. He calls it Triple Baked Rhubarb Tart, not exactly a crumble, but way better!: