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eG Cook-Off #66: Rhubarb


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Once a year at the height of cherry season here in Washington, I make Joel Robuchon's "Clafoutis Aux Cerises"--Cherry Clafoutis.  This time I added some of the rhubarb that I had frozen a few weeks ago.  Freezing and thawing the rhubarb resulted in some pretty wet, limp stalks when thawed so I worried they had lost a lot of flavor, but in the end I was surprised at how much flavor the rhubarb had retained.

 

I used a basic shortbread crust of melted butter, confectioner's sugar and flour. The cherries are baked with sugar and cherry liqueur in a hot oven for about 15 minutes.  Robuchon recommends saving the juices from the cherries for another use, but I used it in the clafoutis batter.  The batter is simply eggs, sugar, crème fraiche and milk.  The clafoutis bakes in a moderate oven for about 30  minutes.  Once cooled, I dusted the clafoutis with powdered sugar and lightly touched it with a mini blow torch to gently carmelize the top.  It's served at room temperature, but is delicious cold, (as in breakfast this morning).  Served with Tillamook Oregon Strawberry Ice Cream.

 

While this is a cherry dish, the flavor of the rhubarb clearly comes through and really accents the cherries.

IMG_2086.JPG

 

IMG_2088.JPG

 

It must be an exceptional year for rhubarb up here--two supermarkets had fresh, thick stalks of rhubarb on Friday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow. l was surprised today to find more fresh rhubarb in the local market.  I'm starting into huckleberry season so I didn't buy any of the rhubarb, but that's one long season.

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Wow. l was surprised today to find more fresh rhubarb in the local market.  I'm starting into huckleberry season so I didn't buy any of the rhubarb, but that's one long season.

 

How is your rhubarb vodka developing? Shouldn't it be just about ready by now?    :smile:

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  • 2 weeks later...

How is your rhubarb vodka developing? Shouldn't it be just about ready by now?    :smile:

 

 

How is your rhubarb vodka developing? Shouldn't it be just about ready by now?    :smile:

It's ready, but I've been putting it off to figure out what I would mix it with.  I've developed a way to create an "Icee" type drink using my ice cream maker, so I'm toying with the idea of making a fruit juice "Icee" to mis with the vodka.  Maybe litchee or passion fruit?

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I suppose this is a dish that would fit in two Cook-Off's--our Pork Belly Cook-off here, http://forums.egullet.org/topic/147019-eg-cook-off-65-pork-belly/, and our Rhubarb Cook-Off.  The fancy title of the dish would be "Confit of Pork Belly, Coconut-Lime Rice, Blood Orange Balsamic Syrup and Rhubarb Compote."

 

I posted the pork belly confit recipe and steps during that cook-off, a classic from Thomas Keller.  It's the closest method I've found to evoke the flavors of old-fashioned pork--juicy, fatty and porky.  The rice is pretty basic, just add 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 water before steaming basmati rice in a rice cooker, along with lemongrass and a quartered lime.  Before serving I'll add some lime zest, butter and black sesame seeds. 

 

The balsamic syrup is the easiest of the garnishes--just reduce blood orange or other balsamic over a medium heat until syrupy.  I liked the sweet and sour flavors of the syrup countering the richness of the pork.  The green onion was mainly for color, but I needed the onion flavor to counter all the sweet and sour going on with the balsamic syrup and rhubarb compote.  And of course, the rhubarb was really what brought this all together.  The dish would not have been complete without it.  I made the compote when we started this Cook-Off and then froze it.  Freezing the compote barely touched the rhubarb flavor and I expect it to be on the Thanksgiving table.

 

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There was rhubarb in a farm stand in Guelph, Ontario, this weekend, along with corn and blueberries!  We've had a cool, wet summer -- does rhubarb crop twice in mild weather?  Never had fresh in late summer. 

 

What we bought is now a part of an Estonian rhubarb cake, made by popular demand for son's birthday. 

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Estonian rhubarb cake sounds interesting. Pictures? Recipe?

I cooked some of my haul, then strained it through a food mill. I plan to try making a sorbet or ice cream with it, but at present the whole lot - including the remaining raw rhubarb - is frozen pending free time.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Smithy - regarding Estonian rhubarb cake - member Pille who blogs from Estonia has this one on her site http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/2011/06/and-so-rhubarb-season-ends-with-very.html

 

Yes, this is the cake I make -- from her blog, which I think heidih had pointed me to a while ago.  It's unbelievably delicious.  It's really more a pie than a cake, but quite different and really good. 

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  • 10 months later...

The rhubarb season has rolled around again, and our newspaper was good enough to send inspiration my way for Rhubarb Frozen Custard.  (Although the link is to the web site of the Duluth News Tribune, the article is by Leah Eskin and reprinted from the Chicago Tribune.)  The recipe comes together easily.

 

Mix and pasteurize this custard of egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, salt and vanilla extract:

 

Rhubarb ice cream custard.jpg

 

Cook down a pound of rhubarb cut into chunks, along with sugar and water, to make a sauce:

 

Rhubarb ice cream sauce.jpg

 

Chill both; mix them together and churn.  The result is creamy, tangy and delicious.  

 

Rhubarb ice cream finished.jpg

 

I'll be making it again, but with a couple of adjustments:

 

1.  They say to strain the custard but not the rhubarb sauce.  Although the rhubarb melts down into a nice puddle, it still needs to be pureed, or possibly strained.  Mine came out with strings, as seen in this photo:

 

Rhubarb ice cream sauce fibers.jpg

 

I pureed it with a wand blender, but still had to pick out a few fiber clumps from the finished product.  A coarse strainer might have helped remove them.

 

2.  The recipe makes 6 cups.  That's too much to fit in my Cuisinart ICE-20 (1 quart) machine all at once.  I've now marked this recipe as a double batch for my machine.

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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  • 5 years later...

Since we launched this Rhubarb Cook-Off some seven years ago, I'm sure we've all added new rhubarb dishes.  And seeing this is rhubarb season where I live, I thought I'd add to the cook-off with this Rhubarb Pot Pie I crafted last season.  Incredibly easy to make.

 

Rhubarb Pot Pie.jpg

 

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

1 tbsp. demera sugar or icing sugar

6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

1 cup granulated sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

3 tbsp. flour

6 tbsp. butter, cut into small chunks

 

Bring the puff pastry out of the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature. Be careful not to unfold the puff pastry while it's still frozen or it will tear along the fold lines. Heat the oven to 425. Spray 4 serving size ramekins with cooking spray.

Prepare the rhubarb by cutting off the end of the stalks. Cut the rhubarb into ¾" pieces, enough to have 6 cups of chopped rhubarb.

 

Heat a saucepan of water to the boil and add the rhubarb. Cook the rhubarb for just 2 minutes to soften. Drain the rhubarb. In a large bowl, add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and butter and toss to combine.

Unwrap the puff pastry and gently unfold. Place a ramekin on the puff pastry and use it as a guide to cut the pastry in the shape of the ramekin. Cut about ½" wider around the shape of the ramekin to have enough puff pastry to hang over the sides.

 

Spoon some of the rhubarb mixture in a ramekin. Top with the puff pastry and brush the puff pastry with some of the egg wash. Cut a small slit in the top of the puff pastry to release steam while baking. Sprinkle the top of the puff pastry with some of the demera sugar.

 

Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake the pot pies until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.

 

Bring the ramekins out of the oven. Serve the rhubarb pot pies warm with vanilla ice cream and our recipe for rhubarb chutney on the side.

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Beautiful. I do not recall ever having rhubarb. Not exactly exotic just didn't come up. Will try to remedy next spring if it shows up at farers market. Would not buy in a chai market as the turnover probably not great.p

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4 minutes ago, heidih said:

Beautiful. I do not recall ever having rhubarb. Not exactly exotic just didn't come up. Will try to remedy next spring if it shows up at farers market. Would not buy in a chai market as the turnover probably not great.p

Oh I think you'd love rhubarb.  Rhubarb crisp is like top 5 of my favorite desserts.

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36 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Oh I think you'd love rhubarb.  Rhubarb crisp is like top 5 of my favorite desserts.

I love rhubarb crisp and it's earlier in this discussion.  I loved it from when I was a kid.  Father grew it in the backyard and Mother made the best pie.  We always just had rhubarb pie, no strawberries in this pie.  We saved the strawberries for shortcake.  Now I use rhubarb in savory dishes.  A lot of younger people turn their nose at rhubarb, but I don't think they've ever had it.

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6 minutes ago, David Ross said:

I love rhubarb crisp and it's earlier in this discussion.  I loved it from when I was a kid.  Father grew it in the backyard and Mother made the best pie.  We always just had rhubarb pie, no strawberries in this pie.  We saved the strawberries for shortcake.  Now I use rhubarb in savory dishes.  A lot of younger people turn their nose at rhubarb, but I don't think they've ever had it.

We really like not-so-sweet desserts sometimes so, yeah, rhubarb hits the spot.  I only fill in with strawberries when I don't have enough rhubarb.

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39 minutes ago, Shelby said:

We really like not-so-sweet desserts sometimes so, yeah, rhubarb hits the spot.  I only fill in with strawberries when I don't have enough rhubarb.

Here in the Northwest it grows and grows and likes a lot of rain.  It comes back every year after a good cold, snowy winter.

 

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I grew up in the far north of New Hampshire, much closer to Canada than Concord. We had both green and red rhubarb in the garden. Mom made everything from the standard strawberry rhubarb pie to rhubarb compote and rhubarb sause for home made ice cream.

 

All of that was wonderful, but what I remember most is dipping the end of small, tender rhubarb stalks in salt and chewing on them until they needed more salt

 

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14 hours ago, heidih said:

Beautiful. I do not recall ever having rhubarb. Not exactly exotic just didn't come up. Will try to remedy next spring if it shows up at farers market. Would not buy in a chai market as the turnover probably not great.p

 

14 hours ago, David Ross said:

I love rhubarb crisp and it's earlier in this discussion.  I loved it from when I was a kid.  Father grew it in the backyard and Mother made the best pie.  We always just had rhubarb pie, no strawberries in this pie.  We saved the strawberries for shortcake.  Now I use rhubarb in savory dishes.  A lot of younger people turn their nose at rhubarb, but I don't think they've ever had it.

 

This. I spent my first couple of decades in central and southern California, and never saw or tasted rhubarb. I'm not sure I even knew it was edible! When I moved to northern Minnesota I learned otherwise. It likes the conditions here, too. 

 

@liuzhou, please see if you can get that rhubarb-ginger jam recipe. @David Ross, I think you've determined the dessert for my next dinner party!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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When my daughter was little she hit on the notion of adding rhubarb to butter tarts (for those of you unfamiliar with this Canadian pastry, you can think of it as broadly similar to a pecan pie but without the pecans).

 

The butter tart itself is tooth-achingly sweet and rhubarb (of course) is very tart, and the two components play very well together. You just have to slice the rhubarb finely, otherwise you get a "two solitudes" thing happening on your palate as opposed to a balanced partnership.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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