Raspberry Rhubarb Sorbet

With summer upon us, I think I am declaring this the summer of ice cream.  For a few years, I’ve had the attachment for my KitchenAid mixer that makes ice cream, but for a number of reasons I have not made much in terms of ice cream.  I’m ready for that to change.  So, when I came across this recipe on Pastry Affair, I knew I wanted to make it.  My love affair with rhubarb is well-documented here, here, here, here, and here.  So, the combination of raspberry and rhubarb in a sorbet that contains no dairy, sugar, and is pretty much real food-friendly was a no brainer.

Raspberry Rhubarb Sorbet.jpg

Raspberry Rhubarb Sorbet

12 oz rhubarb, chopped inch 1-inch sections
6 oz raspberries
1/2 c water
1 c honey
1 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb, raspberries, water, and honey and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft and translucent.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Chill for 3-4 hours or until cold.

Freeze mixture in ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer sorbet to an airtight container and freeze for 4-6 hours before serving.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

This is the last in a series that has been part of the dinner I made for my friends Megan and Tom.  Tom and I have the same job at different campuses, and as a result, we’ve been attending several of the same conferences this summer.  Our most recent adventure, last week, involved him bringing my suitcase to our conference in Indianapolis because I was jet setting back and forth across the country, attending a reunion in Colorado.  When Tom and I were in Indianapolis, we went over to New Day Craft Cider and Mead.  As we were tasting the delicious ciders (and slightly disagreeing on our favorites), he mentioned that rhubarb had not been an ingredient he had frequently tasted.  It’s not question I love the rhubarb, as evidenced by here, here, here, here, and here.  So, I knew that I needed to make something with rhubarb for dessert.  Looking at the Celebrating the Midwestern Table cookbook, I saw a recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp and knew it would be a great way to end our meal.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

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Pi Day

Have I mentioned how many small town festivals my small town has each year?  We often joke that if you are familiar with Star’s Hollow and Gilmore Girls, Mount Vernon could easily compete.  We are a couple of months away from Chalk the Walk, but yesterday we celebrated Pi Day.  You know, 3.1415…as seen here:

Well, across the world yesterday was Pi Day: March 14.  Our Community Development Group decided to celebrate through a fundraiser by asking folks to make pies and then the group sold them for donations.  Our grocery store even had a sale on milk to help support the sale, which happened in our grocery store parking lot.  I made a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cookbook.

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Rhubarb Mustard

I love rhubarb.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite things to eat.  It might be because in 5th grade my science experiment looked at how quickly salt water, sugar water, and regular water traveled up the veins in a celery stick and rhubarb looks a lot like celery.  But, probably not.  I probably just like rhubarb.  My usual go-to with rhubarb are Rhubarb Bars.  I’ve also made a Rhubarb Torte.  In fact, it’s a little bit interesting that for a vegetable with such a short season in the spring, I’ve blogged about this ingredient more than most.

And, today, I write about rhubarb again.
Over the fourth of July, I met up with a couple of friends at a new-ish restaurant in Solon, Iowa, which is also a brewery.  We headed to Big Grove Brewery.  I’m slowly making my way through their craft beer list and food.  While we were there, we ate dinner and with our charcuterie plate came some Rhubarb Mustard.  It was pretty tasty.

With my love of rhubarb, I set out for a way to make this at home.  So, I started looking on google for a recipe for rhubarb mustard and found this recipe on Mason Jars to Muffin Tins.  It’s a modified recipe from a Gourmet magazine recipe, and while I didn’t try the original, this tasted about how I wanted it to taste.  I’m looking forward to serving it next week when I have some folks over as a thank you for helping with a photo shoot a couple weeks ago.
I think it would be kind of good with the grilled cheese I was making all last week, but then again, I love honey mustard and use it almost all of the time.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Rhubarb Mustard better


 

Rhubarb Mustard Begin
Rhubarb Mustard

¾ cup yellow mustard seeds
½ c brown mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
3 ½ c rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ c sugar
½ c honey
¼ c brown sugar
1 ¾ c cider vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt

Grind the mustard and fenugreek into a fine powder.  Similar to the folks at Mason Jars to Muffin Tins, I use a coffee grinder that is used for grinding spices.  I also reserved 2 Tbsp of each kind of mustard seeds to help make it a more coarse mustard.  Put everything into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is soft and unrecognizable.  It will get a little stringy and then help facilitate that by helping to mash it.  If you’d like a more smooth mustard, you can use an immersion blender to make a smooth mixture.  Add in extra mustard seeds.  Pour mustard into hot sterilized jars, seal, and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.


 

I can’t wait to take this home to share with my family in a few days.  In fact, I hear the cans popping behind me as they cool right now.

Rhubarb Bars

I love spring vegetables.  Maybe it’s just from living in the northern parts of the United States and having frozen and canned vegetables all winter long… When spring arrives and the first few signs of vegetables sprout through the ground, I get excited to start using them in my cooking.  As I clear out the last few vegetables from winter in the freezer, I start to put together my spring dessert recipes as well.  And, with summer, it’s nice to brighten up the work day, reward friends who help me move, and use some fresh vegetables.

At my parents home growing up, we almost always had rhubarb readily available.  If you’ve seen it out in the wild, or in someone’s garden, you know that it looks somewhat similar to swiss chard.  However, this vegetable has poisonous leaves.  The stalks, though, when cooked have an amazing color and flavor.  At the Fisher’s Club, Alice makes World-Famous Rhubarb Pie, as you’ve maybe heard referenced on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion shows.  In my house, we’ve often made rhubarb jam or rhubarb bars.

Well, to bring some sweet treats into work, I decided to make Rhubarb Bars for my colleagues.

I generally start the filling before I mix the crust.  To do so, you need to chop the rhubarb:

This is what it looks like when the filling starts cooking on the stove:

Rhubarb Bars
Filling:
4 c chopped rhubarb
1 ½ c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ c water
Cook filling until fibers break down and sauce thickens to a jelly or jam consistency.  Add 1 tsp vanilla.

Crust:
1 ½ c oatmeal
1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
½ tsp soda
1 ½ c flour
Mix together all ingredients in crust until crumbly.  Put ¾ of the crust into a 9×13 pan.  Pour rhubarb mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle remaining crumbs over filling and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Rhubarb Torte

There is little about early summer I love more than rhubarb. In fact, my sister called a couple weeks ago and had made our family-favorite rhubarb bars. My mom also makes a mean rhubarb freezer jam. I have no doubt I will make planting rhubarb a priority someday when I purchase my own house. For now, however, I beg, borrow, and buy rhubarb whenever I can and know the season is never as long as I want it to be.

Rhubarb has such a unique flavor. It’s tart. It’s tasty. It needs to be sweetened. Perhaps I have an affinity for rhubarb because it looks a little bit like celery (which I know I should eat) and tastes so much better (or maybe just has flavor?!) It’s kind of like eating sweet tarts without all the sweetness!

Last week I made a rhubarb torte. I doubled the recipe so it could go in a 9×13 pan and every step of the way, my mom was reminding me to double what I had used.

Now for a few confessions:

  1. This was my first time making whipped cream on my own. I slightly over-whipped it. It didn’t get close to making butter, but another couple minutes and we would have been there without question.
  2. I didn’t really care, because I don’t like whipped cream. Some people love it. I don’t. I don’t like it on top of pie, cake, hot chocolate, or anything else. I’ve grown up enough to eat it when it’s served to me, but I would rarely intentionally add it myself. Thankfully, this dessert has pudding on top of the whipped cream. In my eyes, this was a redeeming factor.

Remember my desire to cook from church cookbooks? This recipe is almost as good as I found it in my mom’s recipe box, but don’t recall her ever making it before. Yummy!

Rhubarb Torterhubarb torte

Base:

1 c crushed graham cracker

2 Tbsp sugar

4 Tbsp melted butter

Save 2 Tsp mixture for garnish. Pat in 9×9 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Cool.

Filling:

1 c sugar

3 Tbsp cornstarch

4 c diced rhubarb

½ c water

1 Tbsp cherry jello (not sugar free to insure correct sugar ratio)

Combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in rhubarb and water. Cook and stir until thickened. Reduce heat. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add jello and spread on cooled crush. Cool.

Topping:

1 c whipping cream

1 ½ c miniature marshmallows

Whip cream and fold in marshmallows. Spoon on top of rhubarb mixture.

1 pkg instant coconut cream pudding

Prepare pudding according to package directions and spread over whipped cream.

Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.