Rhubarb tips and recipes
Autumn is rhubarb-harvesting time, so it’s at its best in the shops.
- It’s usually sold in bunches, but sometimes stalks are sold individually. About 8-10 stalks makes a bunch, enough to make a good dessert for a family of 4-6 people.
- If the leaves are still attached to the stalks, cut them off and add them to your compost bin. These leaves are poisonous, so never eat them.
- If you’re harvesting rhubarb at home, pick stems off by cutting the outer stalks off at the base, or twisting the outer stalks sharply downwards with your hands. Never pick all the stems from a plant. Leave at least four, preferably more, still growing in the centre, to keep the plants growing well.
- Sometimes you’ll see green rhubarb stalks growing, and it’s fine to eat. It tastes much the same as the more familiar red rhubarb stalks.
Tracy’s rhubarb recipe in May Burke’s Backyard magazine
In the May issue of Burke’s Backyard magazine, on sale Monday, April 27, Tracy Rutherford has a simple recipe for oven-cooked rhubarb that makes a wonderful dessert.
Jamie’s apple, pear, orange and rhubarb crumble
600g trimmed rhubarb stalks, chopped (about 6 stalks if they are sold separately)
1 Williams pear, peeled, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, diced
1/2 orange, juiced
60g raw sugar
2 tablespoons diced butter, near room temperature, not icy cold
4 tablespoons plain flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Put rhubarb, pear, apple, orange juice into a saucepan, sprinkle over the sugar and cook, with a lid on, over very low heat, for 10-15 minutes, until the fruit is soft and well cooked. Give it a good stir once or twice during cooking. Allow it to cool for half an hour. While it cools, heat up the oven to 200°C and make the crumble topping.
2. In a bowl, make the crumble topping by combining the butter, flour and sugar with your fingers, until it resembles breadcrumbs. You can make crumble topping by whizzing together the ingredients in a food processor, if you like.
3. Spread the fruit into a pie dish, then cover evenly with the crumble topping. Place into the top shelf of the hot oven and let it bake until the topping starts to bubble (that’s the sugar and butter melting together). Remove from the oven and allow to crumble topping to cool and set so it becomes crunchy, for at least half an hour. It’s best served warm or even cool, not piping hot. Serve with ice-cream or honey-flavoured yoghurt.