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If you are a rhubarb lover, raise your hand… Great! I see that 99% of you are. I had no idea that so many of you loved rhubarb! We have so much in common. :)
Rhubarb was always a staple food when I use to visit my Great Grandparent’s home in the summer. Great Grama was always busy making rhubarb sauce and canning it. It was divine, specially spooned over vanilla ice cream or served in a bowl of cream.
But for me, that little blonde pig-tailed, freckled girl (who was always covered in mud BTW), I took a simpler approach. I would run out to the garden, rip a piece of rhubarb out of the ground, wipe the dirt off on my leg and run into the house. With a large stalk of rhubarb in one hand, I stood before Great Grama with my other hand extended, palm facing up. She knew just what to do. She grabbed the sugar container and poured a little puddle of sugar in the palm of my hand. I would giggle, spin on my heals and head running full-speed out the back door to my great world of adventure. Out “there” I would dip the end of rhubarb in to the sugar and munch away. Tart and sweet, what a treat!
Another yummy treat that only came once a year was Grama’s (not Great Grama’s this time) …. Upside Down Rhubarb Cake! Once the family caught wind that Grama was making this cake, it didn’t take long till we ALL came out of the woodwork. Even though the growing season of rhubarb was rather long in Alaska and it grew like no other weed… she still only would make just ONE cake a summer, so you can guess that it was very cherished!
Simple facts about rhubarb… Some people have heard that rhubarb is poisonous. This is true ‘” but only the leaves ‘” not the stalks. Rhubarb leaves are also high in oxalates which can increase the risk of kidney stones in people who are susceptible to them. But… the stalks are rich in several B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
If you are growing them in the backyard, harvest them by grabbing the base of the leaf stalk, simultaneously pull and twist. Immediately separate the stalk from the leaf. Green tops of rhubarb also contain oxalic acid as well as poisonous glycosides. In addition, greens drain away nutrients from the stalk.
Buying from the markets buy fresh, firm, crispy bright-red color stalks. They usually put for sale in bunches along with other common greens. Avoid those tat are dull, limp or with bruises/blemishes on the surface.
Once at home, harvested or purchased stalks should be placed in a plastic bag and stored inside the refrigerator. This way, the stalks stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks.
Rhubarb drizzle sauce:
Cake and crumble rhubarb topping:
Rhubarb drizzle sauce:
After I made the marinate rhubarb, I left it in chunks rather than blending it to a sauce.
Prepare the cake batter and press into a cake pan with a removable bottom. If you don’t
have this type of pan, line a cake pan with plastic to aid with removal.
Flip the cake over onto a serving platter and remove.
Spread 1 cup of marinated rhubarb over the cake. Use more if you wish.
With a skewer, poke random holes all over the cake. (sorry about the bandaged thumb…
I challenged my new microplane, guess who won?!)
Drizzle the liquid that was created after marinating the rhubarb over the cake, be sure
to go over the areas that you created the holes so the liquid seps in. Dehydrate.
Sprinkle the almond/date crumble on top.
Drizzle the “Rhubarb drizzle sauce” over the top. As you can see, I used a piping bag
but you don’t have to. You can use a spoon instead.
Slice and Enjoy!