If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll probably know that I am a little bit obsessed with rhubarb. In Australia we’re very lucky that it’s available pretty much throughout the whole year, but it’s at its best (and cheapest!) right now. I’ve actually just planted some rhubarb, and I absolutely can’t wait until I’m able to harvest my own.
In the meantime though, I thought it would be fun to put together list of interesting ways to use it – a combination of recipes I’ve tried, and some that I’ve had bookmarked to try for quite some time. I hope you’ll be inspired to try one or more of these great ideas, including this amazing Rhubarb and Gin jam, that is just perfect on homemade scones. See the bottom of the post for the recipe!
1. Rhubarb is so fantastic in drinks! Try this awesome Rhubarb and Ginger Cordial inspired by Jamie Oliver, which is refreshing and delicious, especially this time of year. Add a splash of vodka or gin for a more grown-up tipple.
2. I think I’ve found my new favourite summer drink! What could be more perfect than a Maple Strawberry Mojito from Drinking in America, on a nice warm day?
3. There’s something so comforting about baked rhubarb, but the variations I’ve seen of such a simple dish are endless! While baking, the rhubarb stalks become soft and tender, but keep their shape. I loved this idea of pairing it with Whisky and Orange to top a simple custard from Pease Pudding.
4. Another idea I absolutely fell in love with was this Rhubarb and Lavender Crisp from Sunday Suppers. In fact I had the gorgeous photo as my desktop wallpaper for months! Such a romantic combination, I adapted the recipe to fill my vol au vents as part of a Daring Bakers challenge a few years ago and it was just wonderful.
5. I never would have thought to put Rhubarb and Fennel together – in a dessert no less – but the stunning photography in this post from Beyond the Table are enough to convince me to give it a try! I would imagine the aniseed flavour of the fennel would be quite lovely with rhubarb.
6. As far as food photography goes, What Katie Ate is one of my favourites. I love the sound of this Wine Stewed Rhubarb , which I imagine would be amazing in winter, served warm, with a ginormous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
7. My dear friend Steph made this gorgeous Earl Grey Cake with Rhubarb Glaze which took my breath away the first time I saw it. I’m secretly hoping she’ll make it again for our next afternoon tea, because one of the only things I love more than rhubarb is Earl Grey tea.
8. We’ve all had lemon curd, lime curd and passionfruit curd, but what about rhubarb curd? Lara Ferroni used it to top squares of shortbread in this pretty, girly slice that i imagine would be lovely to take on a sunny spring picnic!
9. This Rhubarb and Quince rippled ice cream was my very first attempt at a swirled ice cream. The flavour was kind of magical, using two of my favourite ingredients, and happily, it turned out to be quite pretty!
10. The gorgeous blog La Tartine Gourmande turns rhubarb into a delicious summertime treat with these stunning Rhubarb and Raspberry Yoghurt Popsicles. I can imagine how delicious these would be, with tart rhubarb and raspberry being the perfect foil to the creamy yoghurt. A gorgeous treat for this time of year.
11. An idea I’ve been fascinated with for a while now is Rhubarb Chutney to go with meat, since by itself rhubarb is not sweet. I love that it also lends itself perfectly to savoury flavours like in these pork and rosemary pasties.
12. The only thing more perfect than Turkish Delight is this gorgeous Rhubarb and Rose Delight from The British Larder. Such a gorgeous pink colour, I’m sure it would be delicious, floral and fragrant. Served with Pistachio and Walnut Baklava and I’m sold!
13. And who could forget Rhubarb Jam? I gave it a grown up twist by adding gin, and it’s absolutely amazing on a fresh, still-warm scone. Feel free to omit the gin if you prefer, it will still be delicious. When making scones (I used Steph’s recipe from the CWA, I trust this woman implicitly on all things scone related), it’s essential to treat your dough very gently or you will end up with hard, dry, unrisen, practically inedible scones. I gave mine a vanilla bean glaze on top, but being a rather impatient person, I didn’t let the scones cool down enough before pouring on the glaze, oops!
Vanilla Bean Glazed Scones with Rhubarb Gin Jam
Rhubarb Gin Jam (inspired by Jamie Durie)
• 400g rhubarb
• 1 lemon, juiced
• ½ cup raw sugar
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 1/8 cup water
• 1/8 cup gin
Scones (adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes)
• 2 cups self-raising flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 150ml pouring cream (35% fat)
• Approximately 2/3 cup milk
• ½ cup icing sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter, melted
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 1 tablespoon boiling water
For the rhubarb and gin jam, wash each stem well. Chop rhubarb and place into a saucepan. Add lemon juice, sugar, vanilla bean and water and cool over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until rhubarb starts to soften. Remove lid, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, stirring often until rhubarb is thick and pulpy. Add gin, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Spoon into a clean jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sift the dry ingredients and preheat oven to 220 (430°F). Begin to cut cream into dry ingredients with a flat bladed knife, then gradually add milk until there is enough to form a soft dough. Working quickly and gently, gather dough together on a floured bench. Try to handle the dough as little as possible, using lightly floured hands to stop the dough sticking to you. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 3cm thick.
Cut out rounds using a 5-6cm scone cutter and place next to each other in a lined heavy baking dish that has sides (scones baked close together will rise higher). Lightly brush the tops of the scones with some extra milk using a pastry brush. Bake for 10-15 minutes until scones are cooked through and tops are lightly browned.
To make the glaze, combine icing sugar, butter, vanilla and water in a bowl and mix until smooth. Spoon glaze over slightly warm scones and set aside to cool. Serve scones with Rhubarb and Gin Jam.