Rhubarb is a truly special ingredient, with its vivid pink colour and distinctively tangy taste, it can be stewed, poached, roasted and puréed in a range of dishes as well as drinks. Use it in a comforting crumble, a classic syllabub, a fruity chutney or a zingy kebab sauce – the possibilities are vast.
There are two types of rhubarb grown in the UK. Forced rhubarb (available from January to early February) is grown under lights indoors and has a more delicate texture and flavour than main-crop rhubarb (available from late March to June) which is grown more slowly outdoors and has a deeper flavour. Both varieties are very tart, so need to be cooked with sugar to balance the flavour.
Whilst some may argue that rhubarb is at its best when simply roasted and served with ice cream, we think that there's so much more to this rosy veg. Check out our list of favourite recipes.
Kicking off with a comfort food classic, our rhubarb crumble is the ultimate pudding to share with family and friends. Indulge in this heavenly combination of sharp fruity filling with sweet crumbly topping and creamy vanilla custard.
Try more rhubarb crumble flavours such as rhubarb & strawberry crumble with custard, or rhubarb & ginger crumble. We've also recreated the flavours of this dish in a delicious rhubarb & custard pie with butter crumble.
2. Rhubarb gin
With the craze for gin not showing any signs of slowing down, try our rhubarb-infused version. Pretty and refreshing, this will go down a treat on a hot day.
Bake our eye-catching rhubarb & custard tart for a dinner party showstopper. Blitz some of the rhubarb and combine it with the custard filling for an extra flavour injection, then layer the remaining stems in neat rows.
If you can't decide on a tart or crumble then why not get the best of both worlds in a rhubarb & almond crumble tart. Another dazzling dinner party dessert comes in the form of our dreamy rhubarb & gingernut cheesecake topped with elegant swirls of rhubarb and ginger compote. Fans of classic French dessert will also love our colourful rhubarb & ginger crème brûlée.
Another tasty reinvention of the classic crumble comes in the form of our moreish rhubarb crumble muffins. These generously sized bakes have a beautifully moist texture from the rhubarb stalks, whilst the crunchy topping captures the essence of a crumble.
Create more brilliant bakes with these tempting rhubarb & custard blondies. The addition of custard powder to the blondie mix adds an extra fudgy texture.
Make a batch of our fabulously fruity rhubarb & vanilla jam and spread liberally on toast. This compote also works well when swirled in a creamy porridge or yogurt.
Try our rhubarb & ginger jam for a flavour variation or serve rhubarb compote with vanilla crème fraîche and pancakes.
It's only natural that the classic combination of rhubarb and custard would be reinvented in a light and fruity cake and we are so glad it was. Use homegrown roasted rhubarb to maximise on flavour. Enjoy a slice of this moist sponge while relaxing with a cup of tea or serve with a dollop of yogurt for dessert.
We've got plenty more rhubarb-laden baked goods for you to try:
Our rhubarb & date chutney delivers the perfect mix of sweet and tart. Leave this spicy spread to mature for a month to develop a full-bodied flavour. It makes the perfect accompaniment to cheeses, pâté and cold meats, and it's equally delicious slathered in sandwiches.
If you're short on time, then rustle up our simpler rhubarb chutney which only takes minutes to prepare.
A light and tangy syllabub is quick to whip up and even quicker to devour. Using fresh ginger in the rhubarb compote will give it a spicy kick, which works beautifully when swirled through the creamy filling.
You could also be digging your spoon into a white chocolate mousse with poached rhubarb or rhubarb & strawberry meringue pots for a low-fat version which uses only five ingredients. If you're looking for a stunning party centrepiece, whip up our boozy rhubarb fool trifle.
As well as being a sweet sensation, rhubarb makes an excellent addition to savoury dishes. These Russian-style lamb kebabs are enhanced with a drizzle of rhubarb sauce. They'll be great to share with friends and family at a casual gathering or spring barbecue if you're lucky with the weather.
For an elegant dinner party dish, serve roasted rhubarb alongside pork fillets stuffed with black pudding.
Combine rhubarb with creamy ricotta in a classic bread & butter pudding which is guaranteed to please a crowd.
Experiment with this ingredient in other traditional desserts such as a rhubarb steamed pudding or go further afield and whip up an American-style rhubarb & orange slump complete with fluffy dumplings and a fruity sauce.
If these indulgent puds don't satisfy your rhubarb cravings, then why not pair them with a vibrant pink rhubarb & star anise sorbet. As well as jazzing up your pudding bowl, this zingy ice cream acts as a palate-cleanser to round off the meal.
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