I Love Rhubarb

I’ve spent the last few weeks totally fixated on rhubarb.  Before I move on to something new (there were cherries at the market last Saturday), I thought I’d gather together all the different crap on my computer desktop into one convenient spot.  These are the highlights from the great rhubarb extravaganza of 2012.


I’ve made many, many jars of this basic rhubarb jam that I posted a few weeks ago.  It’s a simple recipe that uses rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice, and it’s the perfect blank canvas for experimenting with different add-ins like vanilla beans, lavender, rosemary, cardamom….   (As the rhubarb season has progressed, the jams have gone from bright red to pale pink to greenish-brown….. )

Know what makes me really happy?  Greek yogurt + rhubarb jam + a drizzle of honey + granola.  You gotta do it.  It’s like dessert, but healthier.


Rhubeena, from The Hungry Tigress, should be considered a pantry staple like tomato sauce.  It’s that good. Before the rhubarb season is over, I also need to make this Rhubarb-Lime syrup, from Hitchhiking to Heaven, because  citrus sounds like the perfect partner for rhubarb.


Rhubarb Mojitos: a classic mojito pumped up with rhubarb syrup

Rhubarb Granita Cocktails: ridiculously good frozen cocktails made with rhubarb granita, vodka and soda.  (The other night, while I was drinking one of these, I decided that they’re the best fruity cocktail that I’ve ever had in my life, ever. I love these. They’re dangerous.)(We’ve also made Local Kitchen’s Rhubarbitas, because apparently, you know, I drink a lot and really like rhubarb.   I love me a fruity pink cocktail, what can I say).

Rhubarb Fruit Leather:

Making rhubarb syrups means that you’ll end up with some leftover cooked rhubarb pulp.  It depends on how long you’ve cooked the pulp, but sometimes there’s still a lot of flavor left in there.   I was pleasantly surprised by the way the rhubarb leather turned out;  the flavor in the pulp that was definitely a bit on the bland side concentrated in the oven and came out perfectly sweet, tart and bright by the time it was finished dehydrating.   You don’t need to own a dehydrator to make leather — it comes out fine in the oven using a cookie sheet with raised sides.

Cook Time: 8 hrs. or so


  • a couple cups of cooked rhubarb pulp leftover from other recipes
  • lemon juice to taste
  • sugar
  • cooking spray or neutral flavored oil

Heat the oven to 150 degrees or the lowest setting available.  Use a blender to puree the rhubarb pulp.  Taste it, and add a splash of lemon juice if it needs some brightness.  Add a bit of sugar to taste, but remember that the flavors will concentrate and sweeten in the oven, so be careful not to overdo it or it will come out really sweet.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet with neutral oil or cooking spray, and then pour the rhubarb puree onto it.  The puree layer should be about 1/4″ thick.  Put it in the oven until it’s dry and looks like fruit leather, somewhere from 6-8 hours.  (Check it more often when it’s almost done so it doesn’t get too dry).

When it’s done, peel it off the cookie sheet and cut it into convenient sized pieces.   Theoretically, it will keep for a long time at room temperature in a jar or a tupperware, but we ate ours in just a couple days.


Everyone knows about rhubarb pie, but there are so many other sweet treats that you can make with rhubarb.  Like this cake (or is a tart? or a pie?):I give you: strawberry rhubarb kuchen, which is what happens when you stumble onto this recipe for Rhubarb Krack from the Hungry Tigress (which is an adaptation of  Cakewalk’s Rhubarb Kuchen recipe) and realize that you don’t have enough rhubarb to make it but if you just substitute some strawberries for part of the rhubarb, things could still work out well….There’s not really much point in writing the recipe out again since two other talented ladies have already done it.  The only information that really matters is that you can substitute some strawberries for the Tigress’ recipe if you don’t have enough rhubarb, but that it’s probably wise to reduce the sugar since strawberries are pretty sweet on their own.  I used 1 c. of sugar for the filling instead of 2 c. and it was plenty sweet for my taste.  (I also used all-purpose flour, not the whole wheat pastry flour that the recipe calls for, but it was only because I didn’t have the whole wheat on hand.)

I’m pretty sure this recipe would be amazing with any ripe fruit.  I’d love to try it with peaches, or pears, or plums….  That custardy fruit layer is really just everything I could ever want out of a dessert.

I wish I could say that I’m done working on rhubarb recipes, but I’m totally not. (I definitely still want to make the rhubarb mostarda from What Julia Ate and this Rhubarb Custard Pie from Saveur.) and I really haven’t experimented enough with all of rhubarb’s savory applications….  It’s a vicious cycle of rhubarb, it’s true.

Okay, I gotta go get a slice of that pie….

27 thoughts on “I Love Rhubarb

  1. I love rhubarb too but can’t get it here, except in tins, nothing like the real thing! : (
    Your jam looks super scrummy and I love the sound of the custard tart but think I would want to make it with egg yolks only, rather than whole eggs? thank you for sharing and reminding me of Yorkshire days : )

  2. I still have a bit of that mostarda left. It’s been really good to me. I have a recipe for Rhubarb Custard pie, not from Saveur, I think from the NY Times, but it is seriously the greatest pie ever. Now that I finally got my rhubarb shipment in, I’m gonna go into a similar rhubarb delirium!

      1. Thank you, Caroline. I’d also love to try the one Julia referenced from (perhaps) the New York Times.

  3. I love this post! Apart from explaining why my rhubarb jam came out greenish brown, I want to try every recipe you listed. I like rhubarb jelly, too–it’s very floral. And steam-juicing it doesn’t seem like such a waste with that rhubarb fruit leather recipe! I posted my favorite rhubarb cake last week (w a crystallized ginger topping).

    1. emmy, i’m still trying to find some time to make rhubarb jelly! I love the color, such a lovely shade of pink. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  4. I have been trying to make rhubarb and ginger jam, but neither of them has the pectic to firm it up. So I have to eat it up pretty quickly, which is not a probem! But what can I do to make it cannable?

    1. pmohanian- just because it’s low pectin doesn’t mean it’s not cannable, it’s still safe. (to make things safe for canning, you’re more concerned with the acid level than the pectin level). to make it more like the texture of jam, just keep cooking it until it’s thick. rhubarb doesn’t necessarily gel the way that, say, blackberries might, but it should get to a texture that’s thick enough that you can put it on toast or in a sandwich. If you want a firmer set, you could just add some pomona’s pectin or a pack of powdered pectin, but you’ll need to follow the instructions inside the package for when to add/how much, etc. PS: rhubarb and ginger sounds delicious! I would follow the recipe that i list in this post for the rhubarb jam and just add a bit of ginger, and i think it should turn out fine.

  5. Looks really great. Our rhubarb didn’t amount to much this year, which is a shame. Our cherry tree is just coming into season. I can’t wait to use it.

  6. That cake looks amazing! I’m going to have to make that.

    I harvested my first bunch of rhubarb last weekend and just cooked it down with some maple syrup. It’s so good with yogurt and granola– you’re right, it is like dessert!

  7. Greek yogurt + rhubarb jam + a drizzle of honey + granola
    Ok That sounds sooooo good! I need to try it. I just need to find some rhubarb jam! I love rhubarb too. I have a great rhubarb muffin recipe. Perhaps next year I will try making the jam. i don’t have quite enough time right now. The rhubarb syrup sounds good too. Awesome!

  8. At the risk of revealing myself as a drama queen, this post brought tears to my eyes! I grew up on rhubarb (bread, custard, jam, pies, crumbles, raw stalks dipped in sugar…believe it) and I miss it desperately. Last year I moved to Buenos Aires, where no one’s heard of rhubarb and the import laws are extremely protectionist: if it wasn’t made here, it’s not getting in. I need to find a way to smuggle in some seeds. Think rhubarb can grown in pots?? These recipes sound delish, thanks for posting!

  9. I love rhubarb too, but it’s hard to come by in my area. It can be found in some of the fresh markets however, if I want jam or even pie, it’s usually mixed with strawberry.
    I grew up loving rhubarb. It is definitely an acquired taste. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes & ideas!!

  10. Beautiful jam. Beautiful pie. Bring on the barb! I didn’t mention it in my rhubarb recipe this week–but meant to–my little sister and I used to steal barb sauce from the freezer. We were so obsessive about it that my mother had to watch us like hawks and eventually hid it all. Now I just keep it in constant supply:)

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