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Rhubarb Extravaganza

June 23, 2009

rhubarb garden

Greetings to all from scenic, yet perpetually rainy, Cape Cod. I’ve been here for a little over a week now and have been stock piling photos/recipes to post—I’m without an internet connection at my house, which for obvious reasons, makes actually posting my entries all the more challenging. When I make it to my favorite local coffee shop/WiFI outpost, The Chocolate Sparrow, I can catch up on the world at large and broadcast the latest of my culinary activities.

My grandfather’s house, which Quincy and I are lucky enough to call home during these few post-grad weeks, is blessed with a thriving rhubarb patch.  This relatively unknown fruit can be most delicious with the addition of much sugar (straight from the patch, it’s a little too tart to bear) and I’ve been experimenting with its uses.

bubbling, bubbling

The first of these experiments was marmalade of sorts. Though highly improvised, the first batch was quite successful. By combining equal parts chopped rhubarb and regular granulated sugar in a sauce pan, adding about 1 lemon’s worth of chopped zest, and simmering for about 10 minutes (documented above), I ended up with a tasty spread for toast. Yesterday, it made a tremendous addition to some crackers and brie.

jar

The second rhubarb-oriented recipe was a coffee cake. Growing up, coffee cake was the default use of the rhubarb surplus, and although I have fond memories of the variation favored by my mother and grandmother, I felt like giving another version a try. A simple Google search yielded some viable options and ultimately, I decided on one from a lovely blog called Smitten Kitchen. The Big Crumb Coffee Cake (initially adapted from a New York Times recipe) was pretty fantastic—I guess it’s pretty hard to argue with anything that has an almost an inch of buttery, sweet crumbs on top. Although I’ll send you to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe, below is the documentation of my first batch.

Piling on the crumb topping, tart rhubarb visible just below…
piling on the crumbs

Beaters and the rhubarb topping, ready to go…
beaters2

The finished product…cake

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One Comment leave one →
  1. krista permalink
    July 14, 2009 8:16 am

    Mmmmmmm I love yummy rhubard!! Good show, Hil!

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