June 6, 2024 at 4:58 p.m.

Let’s get back to rhubarb


By JEFF NORTON | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment
Sports Editor

Rhubarb is always a column topic that’s deserving of two weeks. There are a lot of recipes out there, and they are in season in a unique time when most everything else is just starting to take hold.

Plus, it is uber-popular and fairly easy to grow once you have an established rhubarb plant.


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RHUBARB 

CUSTARD BARS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter


FILLING

2 cups sugar

7 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten

5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained


TOPPING

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° until custard is set, 40-45 minutes. Cool.

For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Quick note: try not to sub half-and-half or whole milk for the whipping cream in this recipe. While it does work, it’s not as thick and lucious as the heavy whipping cream.


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STRAWBERRY PECAN RHUBARB MUFFINS

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, room temperature

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

3/4 cup diced fresh or frozen rhubarb


TOPPING

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cold butter


In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 400° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks. Serve warm. Makes 18.


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I want to revisit my favorite raspberry rhubarb jalapeno jam that I’ve used before, because it is still my absolute favorite jam that we’ve made. This is the one we don’t give out for gifts because I usually end up eating it all before we get to Christmas season!

But, we made this in the late summer once our peppers had ripened, and we used leftover frozen rhubarb from the spring. It was delicious. 

This recipe does take some unorthodox testing, but since it doesn’t use pectin, it’s a step that is needed to get the right jam consistency.

                                   

 RASPBERRY RHUBARB JALAPENO JAM

3 c. fresh raspberries

1 c. chopped rhubarb (roughly 1 stalk)

1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice


Place a small dish in the freezer to use for testing the jam.

In a large deep skillet, add raspberries, rhubarb, jalapeno, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Once boiling, cook until it thickens, about 10 minutes.

When it is has thickened up, take your bowl out of the freezer. Put a small spoonful of the jam into the bowl and let sit for 30 seconds. Tilt it. If it slides too fast, keep cooking in 1-2 minute increments. If it moves slow, it is done.

Transfer to a heat-proof container. Cool to room temperature. If not canning, use within two weeks. Once opened, store in the refrigerator.


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RHUBARBECUE RIBS

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

3 to 4 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs


SAUCE

3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (about 7 stalks)

2 cups fresh strawberries, halved

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup bourbon

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper


Preheat oven to 325°. Mix salt, paprika and pepper; sprinkle over ribs. Refrigerate, covered, while preparing sauce.

In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb and strawberries; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until rhubarb is tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain; return to pan. Mash until blended.

In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Brown ribs in batches, adding more oil as needed. Remove from pan.

Add onion to same pan; cook and stir until tender, 4-6 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir in rhubarb mixture. Return ribs to pan, turning to coat. Bring to a boil. Cover and bake until ribs are tender, about 2 hours. Bake, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, 30-35 minutes.


TFD: “You can’t change the whole world, and you certainly can’t change other people, but you do have the ability to change yourself. You can have a positive impact in your job, the people with whom you work, and the entire organization…the choice is up to you.” – Cherie Carter Scott 


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