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My Favourite 5 Rhubarb Recipes

If I could only grow one fruit or veg, then rhubarb would be a contender. I adore the pinky green sticks. This might be thanks to my mum, who has been dividing and dividing her rhubarb plants for nearly 30 years. I quite literally grew up with her rhubarb patch.

Last month, I started picking my 2011 crop of the sugary treat. I bounce off the walls for the first harvest, and not just because of the deliciously sweet taste. For me, rhubarb is symbolic of a new season, and really gets my juices going for the coming summer months.

I love snapping a stem in half and sucking up the syrupy scent almost as much as I do eating the ‘barb. But not quite.

Here are my favourite 5 things to make with rhubarb:

1. Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
The crumble’s a time-honoured classic, and scrumptious in its own right. Mix it with ice cream, and something truly wonderful happens. I combine Delia’s cheaty recipe with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s proper ice cream (minus the vanilla). It is immense.

2. Carl Legge’s rhubarb cake
I made this after seeing it on Carl’s excellent blog, Llyn Lines. When he posted the recipe, someone commented that it looked so good, they wanted to lick the screen. The vanilla essence, crystallized ginger and rhubarb combine delightfully to produce a genuine indulgence. Particularly good with a large dollop of custard.

3. Stewed Rhubarb on Muesli
The healthy one! My mum was forever stewing rhubarb when I was little, for us to have as ‘afters’ with custard. In an attempt to set myself for the day, I’ve taken to having some stewed fruit and natural yoghurt with muesli for brekkie. Rhubarb is by far my favourite.

4. Rhubarb Jam
I often raid my mum’s prolific patch to knock up some jam. Traditionally, this jam is mixed with ginger, but I don’t like to distract from the distinct rhubarb flavour, so have been leaving the ginger out. Goes great with an Easter hot cross bun.

5. Rhubarb and Custard Trifle
Like crumble, rhubarb and custard is a staple – so much so, there’s even a cartoon named after it. And a boiled sweet. However, add sponge cake, as HFW recommends, and suddenly you’ve got a super simple but tremendously tasty trifle.

There are loads and loads of other great recipes for rhubarb, and year-by-year I’m getting round to trying as many as possible. Anyone got any combos they love? Apparently rhubarb wine packs a punch, and I’ve heard great things about a rhubarb and custard cake…

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6 Comments

  1. CrispinApril 5, 2011 at 7:41 amReply

    I seriously think if you haven’t got rhubarb in the garden you haven’t got a garden! Everyone should have it – if you don’t like eating it it’s very decorative and pretty indestructible – always a good thing in gardens

    On Saturday we had people round and had rhubarb fool for pud – it combatted the solidity and slight chili heat of the mushroom pie very well.

    Stew about 1Kg of rhubarb with the zest and juice of an orange and about 80g of sugar (the recipe said loads more but I think you can always add) and some vanilla essence

    Strain off the juice from the rhubarb and reduce to about half it’s volume

    When it’s all cold, whip up 500g of double cream to be thick but not stiff (it’s easy to go too far)

    Fold the rhubarb puree into the cream and put the juice into a jug to drizzle over

    Dead easy and very luxurious feeling!

    • Jono

      JonoApril 5, 2011 at 8:36 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Crispin, thanks for the your comment. That sounds really tasty! Will be sure to try that.

      I wonder if you could use creme fraiche to make it more healthy? I made a fool a while ago using creme fraiche, and it was great.

      Agree about the decorative qualities too. Its great looking at the rhubarb this time of year – its really distinctive on my plot, against all the dull winter colours and bare soil.

  2. Catherine HigginsApril 5, 2011 at 8:39 amReply

    We harvested some the other day.

    It’s ofically the first thing we’ve taken off the plot to eat. Planning a crumble for tonights dessert!

    Just looking at recipes now!

  3. Alan @ it's not work it's gardeningApril 5, 2011 at 1:28 pmReply

    Stop torturing me.

    Now I have to go find a garden center with some rhubarb plants… one last try I suppose.

    BTW, found some parsnip seeds locally. =)

  4. GreenfingersmumApril 5, 2011 at 6:46 pmReply

    Some great ideas. I’ve seen Carl’s recipe & I’m gonna use the first of my rhubarb making that.
    Http://greenfingersmum.blogspot.com

  5. JelliebabeApril 12, 2011 at 3:30 pmReply

    Mmmmmm Rhubarb – Not only do I have two plants at home – the patch at the allotment is about 3 ft by 1ft. So I have masses at the mo. So thanks for the extra recipes!

    I have already started Rhubarb wine (a new venture – never made any wine before) Rhubarb and ginger ice-cream and I have given some away. I picked another 2/3 lbs yesterday… I’m thinking Rhubarb schnapps and I shall freeze the rest!

    Rhubarbarama!

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meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

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