Utilizing Rhubarb in Your Cooking

fotoosvonrobincut-rhubarb2

Rhubarb is a versatile ingredient that is used in recipes. It is a very hardy, perennial plant that can be forced grown over winter, making it available throughout the year. It requires very little maintenance (annual fertilization, well-drained soil), does not have any known diseases or pest attack incidence and can be harvested easily (just simply pluck or cut).

Below are some ways on how you can utilize rhubarb in your cooking: Rhubarb Sorbet, Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie and Rhubarb Parfait.

grongar-rhubarb-sorbet1

Rhubarb Sorbet

This recipe can also be used to make rhubarb popsicles and are great for kids. Rhubarb sorbets are a great way to quench your palette over a hot summer day. Simply pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze to make popsicles.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of chopped fresh rhubarb (4-5 stalks)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of corn syrup

Method

  1. Bring rhubarb, water, salt and sugar, ginger and orange zest to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and allow the contents to simmer for about 5 minutes (or until the rhubarb falls apart and sugar has dissolved).
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Purée the cooled mixture to a smooth consistency with a blender.
  4. Press the pureed mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp.
  5. Add corn syrup and stir.
  6. Pop into the refrigerator and chill the mixture overnight (you can pop it into the freezer for a faster result but you will need to check and stir the contents occasionally).
  7. After the mixture is chilled, process it in an ice cream maker as according to the manufacturer\’s instructions.
  8. Sorbets attain a soft texture when processed right out of the ice cream maker. For a firmer consistency, pour the sorbet into an air tight container and place it in freezer for several hours. Allow to sit in room temperature to soften a little before serving.

janet-hudson-rhubarb-strawberry-pie

Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie

The name rhubarb conjures up a whimsical image, and the site of a rhubarb strawberry pie is sure to set mouths a-watering as we speak. Summer harvest means rhubarb pie season, and the result is nothing short of eliciting lip smacking from adults and kids alike.

For crust

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling

  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb
  • 3 1/2 cups strawberries (hulled and halved)
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (glazing purpose)

Method

  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor, and mix. Add in shortening and butter until a bread crumb consistency is attained. Add ice water little by little to form moist clumps, then knead into dough. Do not knead too much as you want to keep the dough cool
  2. Divide the dough into two and flatten each into disk. Wrap these two disk separately in plastic and refrigerate them for about 1 hour
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  4. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in large bowl and mix gently.
  5. Roll out one of the dough disk to about 13-inch diameter. Use flour on the rolling area to prevent dough from sticking on the surface.
  6. Transfer the disk to a 9-inch-diameter pie dish.
  7. Trim around the pie dish, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.
  8. Do the same to the second dough disk (this is the part that will cover the top of your pie). Instead of placing it on a pie dish, cut it into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  9. Spoon filling into the pie dish and arrange the strips of dough in a lattice pattern.
  10. Trim the ends of dough strips (for both top and bottom crust).
  11. Seal the pie by folding the strip ends and overhang under and crimp edges.
  12. Brush egg yolk over top crust for glaze.
  13. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  14. After 20 minutes reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for about 1 hour 25 minutes until golden brown and filling thickens.
  15. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely before service.

Recommended serving: with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

lisa-cericola-strawberry-rhubarb-parfait

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait

Rhubarb layer

  • 3/4 cup rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cup strawberries, quartered
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Cream Layer

  • 1 cup whipping (35%) cream, for whipping
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. icing sugar
  • (optional) 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange flavoured liqueur
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche (strawberry cream)

Garnish

  • 6 strawberries, left whole, to garnish parfait
  • Lemon balm, to garnish parfait, optional
  • 6 rolled tuille cookies, to garnish parfait, optional

Method

Rhubarb Layer

  1. Combine the rhubarb layer ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat and stir the mixture so that it does not burn.
  2. Cook about 8 to 10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Remove cinnamon stick from the mixture.

Cream Layer

  1. Whip cream until you attain soft peaks in a whisk or hand mixer..
  2. Add icing sugar, increase speed to high and whip until firm peaks form.
  3. Fold in the crème fraiche (strawberry cream) and Grand Marnier

Putting it all together

  1. Divide 1/3 of the cream layer in 6 parfait glasses.
  2. Layer ½ of the strawberry rhubarb layer equally on top these 6 cream layer.
  3. Repeat layering until you finish the cream and rhubarb mixture.
  4. Garnish with a whole strawberry, some sprig of lemon balm and cookie.

More Reading:

Rhubarb Pies: http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/recipe-pie.html#index_pie_1

Simply Recipes: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/rhubarb_sorbet/

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: epicurious.com

Images Credit:

FotoosVanRobin/Flickr

grongar/Flickr

Janet Hudson/Flickr

Lisa Cericola/Flickr


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