Spring by Kathryn White

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Raving about Rhubarb

"Rhubarb, a plant with an identity crisis...
So, is it a fruit or a vegetable? People have wondered about it for ages because they've enjoyed rhubarb mostly in desserts, with sugar and sweeter fruits.
But believe it or not, rhubarb is a vegetable from the same family as buckwheat and sorrel, and it sure is an excellent ingredient in soups, salads, breads, relishes and beverages...."

You can read more about this wonderful vegetable at this site:
Rosy Rhubarb Festival in Ontario

Well, that was news to me as I have not considered it before, nor did I know that rhubarb could attract the attention of enough people to have festivals across the world.

I love rhubarb in any dessert and have used it alot these past few weeks. The beauty of rhubarb is that it grows in abundance just about anywhere and as I found out, many rural neighbours are more than willing to share.
There are just about as many rhubarb recipes as there is rhubarb growing!
Below is just a sampling of what my kitchen produced:
(my youngest daughter and I experimented last week)
I found two great baking sites that I wanted share:
Ward Street Bistro does a great job of going through the steps of each recipe if you are a novice in the kitchen or just to give you an idea.
I used most of her recipe, however... I do this all the time...I modified it because I wanted a meringue topping.
Rhubarb Custard Pie

Mennonite Girls Can Cook has an awesome site for recipes and I have used many with much success. This was where I got the idea of a meringue for the pie.
Rhubarb Meringue Pie

I also made a butter instead of lard pie crust for the first time and have to admit that we all loved it!
Butter Crust Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

And finally from my friend Donna:
Recipe for Rhubarb Bread or Coffee Cake
Mix together:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cups oil
1 egg
1 cup milk, (soured with 1 tbsp. white vinegar)
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Mix all of the above together, and then add 1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb.
Mix together:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
Put above mixture into bottom of pan, and then pour rhubarb mixture on top. Bake 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Note: This makes 1 large bundt cake or two small loaves. I have also made muffins with this recipe as well.
Hope you enjoy it.

Again I modified it slightly by adding a caramel pecan sauce which made it decadent served with ice cream!


My sil, M, and I were talking about making rhubarb strawberry jam this weekend. She was asking for a recipe, so I sent her over to Jody's blog for a wonderful yet easy recipe.
Jody lives on a ranch in Montana and journals about family and life on a ranch with interesting and informative posts, great photos and heartfelt words of wisdom.
You will love her blog!