Posts Tagged ‘Rhubarb Recipes’

Florette’s Rhubarb Tea

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

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This recipe appears in my Pudding Hollow Cookbook. (If you don’t have the book, feel free to order it!)

I had forgotten about the tea until last week when I was pondering what to prepare on my next segment on the show Mass Appeal. It was a hit with friends when I made it a few days ago—and it was a hit yesterday when I made it on the show. (See video below.) It is lovely to look at and refreshing to drink.

In case you skip over the recipe and go straight to the video, be aware that I made rhubarb crumble first! And … you should know that I forgot to mention on the air that one should cover the raw rhubarb with water BEFORE cooking it for the tea; otherwise the rhubarb will burn long before it simmers! (One does get a little carried away on live TV, but one is learning.)

The recipe originally came from my neighbor Florette, who is mentioned in the video. I have written here before about Florette. She was glamorous, eccentric, and occasionally maddening. She taught me a lot about rhubarb and a lot about life, and I’m grateful for those lessons.

The Tea

Ingredients:

for the rhubarb juice:

2 pounds rhubarb stalks chopped (about 6 cups)
3 cups water
1 pinch salt

for the sugar syrup:
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

for assembly:
1 quart strong black tea

Instructions:

In a stainless steel or enamel saucepan, cook the rhubarb in water, partially covered, over moderately low heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Stir gently occasionally to keep from boiling. Cool slightly. Drain the rhubarb in a sieve placed over a bowl and discard the pulp, reserving the liquid. Add the salt.

In another saucepan, combine the ingredients for the sugar syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and brushing the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan until the sugar is dissolved. Cook the syrup for 5 minutes, undisturbed, over moderate heat and let it cool.

To make rhubarb tea, combine 2 parts black tea, 1 part rhubarb juice, and 1 part sugar syrup. (You may change these proportions slightly according to your taste.) Serve in a tall glass over ice. As indicated, 4 cups tea, 2 cups rhubarb juice, and 2 cups sugar syrup make 2 quarts of rhubarb tea.

Store any leftover juice or syrup in the refrigerator. If you need a double amount of sugar syrup, make 2 separate batches.

And now the video:

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn951O2e5yc&list=UUhrpfuBCFEPoURYVpsi4iHw[/youtube]

If you’d like to see the quick asparagus dish I made yesterday before the rhubarb (one always eats one’s vegetables BEFORE dessert), here’s that video as well:

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNC_nZJ-_lk&list=UUhrpfuBCFEPoURYVpsi4iHw[/youtube]

For Rhubarb Lovers ONLY!

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

 
I know I don’t usually publish posts two days in a row. I do realize, dear readers, that you have OTHER THINGS TO DO than read about my cooking.
 
I’m running out of time to celebrate everything I need to by July 4, however, so I’m afraid I’m back today with another rhubarb recipe.
 
Actually, I was a little hesitant to try this one. It involves … grilling.
 
I’m not generally a sexist, but there are certain things I’d just rather have men do. Change batteries on high smoke alarms (thank you, David!). Fasten the hose to the faucet outside so the water doesn’t gush out (thank you, Dennis!). GRILL.
 
Last night was hot, however, and no men were in sight. So I pulled out the grill and the charcoal and eventually got a fire going. My mother, Truffle, and I enjoyed a marinated flank steak.
 
And … grilled rhubarb!
 
Ann Brauer, a talented quilt artist in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, suggested I try tossing my favorite stalk on the grill.
 
I was skeptical. I have been known to lose pieces of chicken through the slots of the grill. I had a feeling I would end up with more rhubarb in the fire than on top of it.
 
Ann told me that she had grilled her rhubarb on foil, however, which made the project much more doable.
 
The grilling is a teensy bit tricky anyway. As I state in the recipe below, one wants the rhubarb to become slightly soft but not mushy. The photo at the bottom of this post actually depicts my first batch, which was slightly underdone; you can still see sugar adhering to the stalks. By the time we finished the final batch we were so hungry we ate the darn things without photographing them, however.
 
Warning: I know I’ve said that several of my rhubarb recipes will appeal to people who are not rhubarb fans.
 
This is NOT one of those recipes. If you are a lover of rhubarb, however, you will be enamored of the contrast between the light sugary crust and the deep, tart, rhubarby inside of the grilled stalks.
 
My mother and I were very, very happy. Truffle even ate a couple of pieces. (She’s a dog with excellent taste.)
 
Grilled Rhubarb
 
I apologize for the vague proportions in this recipe! My mother and I ate about 4 pieces of rhubarb each, but people with bigger appetites would probably eat many more. So I leave the decisions to you…….
 
Ingredients:
 
rhubarb to taste–washed, trimmed, and cut into 3-inch pieces
sugar as needed
 
Instructions:
 
Rinse the rhubarb pieces well and barely drain them. Leave a little water adhering to them so that the sugar will stick to them.
 
Pour sugar into a flat bowl, and roll the pieces of rhubarb in it.
 
Grill on foil over a not-too-hot grill, turning from time to time, until the sugar melts and the rhubarb starts to soften but doesn’t completely lose its texture. On my grill this took about 15 minutes, but I am NOT a reliable griller. Keep an eye on your rhubarb and pay no attention to me! 

Remove and serve.


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Barbacious Brownies

Monday, June 21st, 2010

 
I admit that I put rhubarb in a lot of things. This is one ‘barb recipe that would never have occurred to me, however.
 
I got the idea for these fudgy squares from Dennis Duncan of High Altitude Rhubarb, a bustling organic rhubarb farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Like me, Dennis is a major rhubarb fan.
 
Dennis was a little vague about how much rhubarb to add to the brownies, suggesting that I simply add unsweetened rhubarb to my favorite brownie recipe. So I just punted. I wasn’t sure whether the brownies were a success … until my neighbors started asking for more!
 
The result was a moist, DARK-chocolate brownie. Be prepared for a definite tart taste from the rhubarb. Your friends may not be a able to figure out what’s in the brownies, but if they’re fans of dark chocolate they’ll definitely be happy. 

By the way, High Altitude Rhubarb has a number of recipes available on it web site. My family is lobbying to try the rhubarb margaritas!

 
The Brownies
 
Ingredients:
 
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
1/2 cup unsweetened rhubarb puree, slightly warm
1 cup sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa (depending on how dark you want them; they’ll be dark either way!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch-square pan. (Line it with buttered foil to omit any worries about sticking. I used a silicone pan so I didn’t have to.)
 
In a 2-quart saucepan melt the butter. Stir in the rhubarb, followed by the sugar. Heat, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
 
Stir in the cocoa and salt. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Stir in the flour, followed by the vanilla and the chocolate chips.
 
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. 

Bake the brownies for 25 minutes. Remove them from the oven. Loosen the edges gently with a table knife; then allow the brownies to cool. Cut into tiny pieces. Makes between 20 and 40 brownies, depending on how big you cut them.


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Upside Down Once More

Friday, June 11th, 2010

 
I know, I know, I just posted a recipe for rhubarb upside-down cake!
 
Let me explain.
 
After various peregrinations I am finally home in Hawley, Massachusetts, contemplating the gorgeous greenery everywhere and the abundant rhubarb in my yard.
 
(It’s even more abundant in the yard of my generous next-door neighbor Dennis!)
 
Seeing its lush (if poisonous) green leaves and strong red stalks has inspired me to try yet another upside-down cake.
 
You may recall that the previous recipe from Sue Haas featured marshmallows. This ingredient surprised some of the commenters, particularly the eloquent Flaneur.
 
Here I dispense with the marshmallows and combine Sue’s recipe with my own for pineapple upside-down cake.
 
It’s amazing how different two rhubarb cakes can be! Of course, I like them both. (I seldom dislike cake, for my sins.)
 
Sue’s Michigan upside-down cake is not too sweet and not too goopy; the marshmallows hold it together and give it a slight vanilla flavor.
 
This version is definitely sweeter and richer. On the other hand, it’s also a little more rhubarby. The marshmallows tend to tame the rhubarb in the other recipe. 

Which should you make? BOTH, of course………

 
Hawley Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
 
Ingredients:
 
for the topping:
 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups rhubarb (1/2-inch chunks)
 
for the cake:
 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
 
First make the topping (which goes on the bottom!).
 
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until it melts and bubbles—3 to 4 minutes.
 
Transfer the brown-sugar mixture into a 9-inch-square cake pan. Spread it through the bottom of the pan. Arrange the rhubarb pieces on top as artistically as you can. (Mine weren’t very artistic.)
 
For the cake cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla, and pour the batter over the rhubarb mixture.
 
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center (but not too far down; don’t hit the rhubarb!) comes out clean, about 40 minutes. If the cake is brown but not done before this happens, decrease the oven temperature and continue baking.
 
Allow the cake to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife, and invert the cake onto a serving plate held over the skillet. Turn upside-down. Remove pan.
 
Serve alone or with whipped cream. Serves 9. 

I should think you could absolutely bake this pan in a 10-inch iron skillet (heating the butter and brown sugar in it first, and then piling on the other ingredients). I couldn’t find my skillet, however, so I used a square pan and can only report on those results.


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Rhubarb Catch Up

Monday, June 7th, 2010

 
Here’s an early recipe for July 4. (Enjoy it: this will probably be the only time you’ll get a recipe early from In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens!)
 
I’m not exactly a champion griller. In fact, as listeners to WFCR, our local public-radio station, learned a couple of years ago, I’ve been known to light an outdoor fire that almost turned into … well … an outdoor fire.
 
Condiments for grilled foods I can manage, however. And lately I’ve had a hankering to make some rhubarb ketchup (or catsup or however you want to spell it).
 
I’ve tried a couple of different formulas, and this is the best so far. It doesn’t taste like tomato ketchup. Why should it? It’s a lightly sweet, lightly spiced sauce that would be lovely with pork.
 
My spices came courtesy of Kalustyan, a wonderful spice company that has a retail outlet in New York City (yes, it will ship spices to you!). I particularly love Kalustyan’s aromatic cinnamon. And its mixture of pickling spices was just right for this recipe.
 
I can’t tell you yet how long this ketchup will last in the refrigerator since I made it less than a week ago. I don’t think I’d push it more than two weeks or so. So if you would like to try it as a condiment for Independence Day you should wait a little while to make it.
 
On the other hand, like me, you might want to make some now and some later. It really was tasty last night! I pan grilled chicken cutlets and served them with fresh peas with mint and maple-rhubarb coleslaw.
 
While you’re making your ketchup, do listen to my WFCR grilling broadcast. I’m not in great voice when I sing (and the less said the better about my piano playing), but my mother’s childhood memories are fun.
 
And Truffle’s cheerful bark more than makes up for my shortcomings! She really knows how to celebrate Independence Day.
 
 
Rhubarb Ketchup
 
Ingredients:
 
3 cups rhubarb (in small pieces!)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup apple cider plus 1/2 cup later
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon pickling spices
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few turns of your pepper grinder
 
Instructions:
 
In a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan, toss together the rhubarb and brown sugar.
 
In a tiny nonreactive saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup cider and the vinegar. When they come to a boil remove them from the heat and stir in the ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pickling spices.
 
Let the two pans sit at room temperature for 2 hours. The rhubarb should juice up a little, and the spices should steep nicely in the liquid.
 
After the resting period add the spices and their liquid to the rhubarb. Toss the remaining cider into the pot that held the spices to pick up any remaining spices, and add it to the rhubarb as well. Stir in the salt and pepper.
 
Bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil the resulting sauce, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Turn off and let cool.
 
In a blender or food processor puree the cooled ketchup. Ladle it into a sterilized jar or two and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.
 

Makes about 2-1/2 cups ketchup.


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