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3 lip-smacking rhubarb recipes

It’s rhubarb time! Here are some tasty ways to use it.

Rhubarb hand tarts

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
Dash ground nutmeg
3 cups ½-inch-thick slices fresh rhubarb or frozen sliced rhubarb
1 cup sliced, peeled tart apples
Milk
Coarse sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
7 to 9 tablespoons water

  1. Line a large baking sheet with foil; grease foil and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan stir together sugar, tapioca, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in rhubarb and apples until coated. Let stand about 15 minutes or until a syrup begins to form, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or just until fruit is softened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375˚F. In a large mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened mixture to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll out each portion of pastry to a 12-inch square. Cut each portion into four 6-inch squares.
  4. Spoon about ¼ cup of the cooked rhubarb mixture onto half of one pastry square, leaving a 1-inch border around edge of pastry. Brush edges of square with water. Fold pastry over filling, forming a rectangle. Press edges gently to seal. Brush edges lightly with water again. Fold edges up and over about ¼ inch. Press edges with tines of a fork to seal again.
  5. Place tart on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining squares of pastry and rhubarb filling. Prick tips 2 or 3 times with the tines of a fork for escape of steam. Pat down top to get rid of excess air around filling. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack about 30 minutes; serve warm. Makes 8 servings.

Rhubarb surprise crisp

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen unsweetened sliced rhubarb, thawed
2 cups coarsely chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium bowl combine the 2/3 cup granulated sugar, the cornstarch, and cinnamon. (For fresh rhubarb, use 2 teaspoons cornstarch. For frozen, use 3 teaspoons cornstarch.) Stir in rhubarb, strawberries, and basil. Spoon into bottom of a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside.
  2. In another medium bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in melted margarine or butter. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Rhubarb glaze for meat

4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
½ 12-ounce can frozen cranberry-apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon wine vinegar

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan combine 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb and ½ of a 12-ounce can (¾ cup) frozen cranberry-apple juice concentrate. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 15 minutes or until rhubarb is very tender. Strain mixture into a 2-cup liquid measure, pressing out the liquid with the back of a spoon. Add water, if needed, to equal 1¼ cups liquid. Discard pulp.
  2. In the same saucepan combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir in rhubarb liquid. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard, and 1 tablespoon wine vinegar. Heat through. 
  3. If desired, set aside some sauce to serve with meat. Brush on ribs, pork chops, chicken, lamb, or any cut of meat while grilling or smoking. Cool, cover, and chill unused glaze that hasn't come into contact with raw meat for up to 5 days. Makes 1¾ cups.
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