Wednesday, April 30, 2008

La Rhubarbe

When we bought this house, we didn't know until after we moved in that there was rhubarb growing along the garden walkway. It had been there a while, I presumed, because it wasn't producing much.

Stalks of freshly picked rhubarb from our garden.

I did a little research and found out that rhubarb needs to be divided when it produces spindly stems, so two years ago I dug it up, separated the roots, and replanted them in another location. This year we're getting nice fat stems and I harvested the first of them on Sunday.

I peeled the stems, then cooked them with some sugar in a bit of water on top of the stove. As they cooled, I boiled the cooking liquid down into a sugar syrup.

A batch of oven-fresh scones.

So what goes with tart and tangy rhubarb? Scones! I whipped up a batch of scones and we at them with the rhubarb and its syrup and a few strawberries. The only thing missing was a dollop of cream, but we had run out.


  1. What gorgeous scones! They're a perfect color. Do you make them light, or heavy with butter/cream?

    As a child I couldn't stand rhubarb (pie-plant, my grandma called it)and the first time I enjoyed rhubarb pie, it occurred to me that I must be grown-up now.

  2. I luuuurv rhubarb, but real men don't peel their rhubarb, Walt, and if you are seriously macho, you eat it raw :-)
    Make sure you give the plant plenty of manure. They are what is known in the gardening world as a greedy feeder.

  3. Custard, it must be custard... thick, yellow and sweet.

    I did once adapt a magazine recipe for some other tart fruit, topping partly-stewed rhubarb with a ground almond soufflé (this also works extremely well with gooseberries - groseille maquereau). A crunchy soufflé topping - and if you don't cook it too long, the liquid in the fruit turns the lower level of the eggy mix into... proper custard.

  4. I had never heard of peeling rhubarb before now either but anyway it's done, I luuuuv rhubarb too!

    Walt, what do we have to promise you to get your scone recipe? :) They look magnificent!


  5. those scones are absolutely beautiful.....recipe please!

  6. Thanks for the wonderful idea for rhubarb. I've always thought that I didn't like it (although I haven't eaten it since I was a child) so I'm going to try it this year.
    I bought some at the market this week and need ideas!

    Those scones look amazing!

  7. To look at your freshly baked scones est un supplice de Tantale. The closer I bring them, the farther away they go. L'eau vient à ma bouche but I remain thirsty. And your water spigot refuses to function...

    The cyber-world can be cruel. The only way out is to try to repeat your performance.

  8. louise, normally I make them with cream, but we were out, so they just have milk and butter in them.

    susan, I don't normally peel it, either, but I tried it this time just for fun. It kind of fell apart. But raw? I'm not macho enough for that.

    autolycus, I can't argue with that! But scones with devon cream...

    bettyann, Yes, I'll publish the scone recipe soon.

    a, you bet!

    loulou, mixed with strawberries in a pie is a good way to go.

    claudia, now I have to look up supplice de Tantale. Or ask Ken, I bet he'll know.

  9. Sorry...
    From memory: Tantale had offended a god (mythologie). Sentence: he was put near a river and an arbust full of fruits. Both always dried up whenever he approached them. Conclusion: he was thirsty and hungry for all eternity.

    Stop looking Claudia, and try cooking...Drink from your kitchen tap...

  10. Roasting rhubarb is very trendy at the moment. I haven't tried it, but one of the reasons people like it is because the rhubarb retains its shape. (I also draw the line at trying it raw, so you haven't lost face with me :-)
    Loulou - try making rhubarb syllabub - super easy and absolutely divine to look at and taste. Stew some rhubarb with sugar to taste. Make some Chantilly cream using the juice of an orange. Gently blend the two and serve in wine glasses. If you can get a blood orange - even better - they are sweeter, and the red juice will turn the cream the palest pearly pink.


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