It's my first time ever using rhubarb and I have to say, I can't believe I waited this long to try it!
Growing up, I never ever had rhubarb. I have no idea why, it just wasn't something I ever was introduced to. When I finally did try it about 10 years or more ago, I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to do anything culinary with it. It's so very sour and it didn't seem to be of any interest to me. I guess I just wasn't ready.
We moved into this rental home in May and the first thing I noticed out back was the rhubarb growing behind the house. I had no idea what it was. It was growing it's seeds and the whole plant amazed me. When I found out that it was rhubarb I realized I knew absolutely nothing about it other than people seemed to make a pie out of it mixed with strawberries. I watched it grow until yesterday when I noticed it was ready to pick.
Being that I just made some jam that hadn't quite set the way I would have liked it to, I started looking into recipes that looked appealing.
Our kids helped me to pick the rhubarb and there was plenty. Not just one recipe will come from this one plant. From what I understand, next year it will probably doubled in size which is really good; more rhubarb - more recipes.
Our son Aidan likes it raw, as is, not even any sugar. Amazing. I don't mind it, but John and our daughter Sierra wanted nothing to do with it raw. The facial expressions that Sierra made after taking a bite were hilarious. Being 14, no pictures of said faces were allowed to be taken ;)
Once it was all picked, I cut off the leaves, which are poisonous by the way! I had no idea!
Rhubarb Health Facts
Some of the health benefits of rhubarb include its ability to aid weight loss, improve digestion, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, stimulate bone growth, avoid neuronal damage, increase skin health, prevent cancer, optimize metabolism, improve circulation, and protect against various cardiovascular conditions.
That's not why we're eating it, I was curious though. Now we'll be eating it quite a bit more ;)
We came into the house and started searching out recipes. Which to choose for the first try? A sweet bread? Jam? Chutney? Pie? Then as Aidan and I were looking, he saw a recipe for an upside-down cake and we both agreed that this was the one to try. After taste-testing the raw rhubarb, Sierra was not interested in the slightest.
The strawberry jam I made the past weekend that hadn't set was perfect for what the recipe was calling for!
And so the experimenting began, I found a recipe, then made it my own by changing this and that and trusting it would turn out.
Rhubarb Bliss Upside-Down Cake
Fresh cut rhubarb from the back of the house.
A nice surprise when we moved in.
For anyone who has to do a recipe 'just so' I might drive you a bit mad. This batter part was supposed to be mix everything separately and slowly, adding the wet and dry bit by bit. Truth? Sometimes I will follow a recipe and sometimes I just don't care. This time I did it my way...I'm giving you my recipe, the way I did it, and it turned out fabulous!
That doesn't mean you have to follow my way...do it the way it feels right for you and from your experiences!
3 cups fresh cut rhubarb stalks, washed and diced
1 8oz (237 ml) jar of not quite thick enough strawberry jam (add a tsp of water if you like to thick jam)
1 cup of sugar (1/4 cup for pan, 3/4 cups for batter)
1 1/2 cups of one to one gluten free flour mix (or wholewheat organic flour) (or whatever you have)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (Celtic sea-salt is what I use)
2/3 cups of butter (softened)
1 tsp of vanilla (probably more as I didn't measure it)
3/4 cup of milk
Preheat your oven to 350°
Wash and cut up your rhubarb then add to a bowl.
Take some strawberry jam at room temperature and pour it into the bowl of rhubarb and mix it until combined.
Take a decent sized pie plate and generously grease. I used butter, you can use coconut oil or lard if you like :)
Once the plate if coated well, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cane sugar evenly.
set aside or add the fruit mix evenly to the dish.
Mix dry ingredients with a fork a few times to make sure it's blended well. You could use a sifter, I don't need extra dishes to wash, do you?
Mix wet together. I did things backwards. Usually I cream my butter and sugar first but I didn't this time for whatever reason. I did the wet and dry separately then I mixed them together well with a wooden spoon.
Your fruit mix should be spooned onto the pie pan evenly, then spoon the cake batter on top. Spread it evenly and [place it into your preheated oven for between 40 and 45 minutes.
After you've taken it from the oven, let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool then loosen the edge from the pan and turn over onto a serving dish, leaving the pie plate as a cover until you're ready to serve either hot, warm or cool.
Wrap it and put it in the fridge, should keep for the week, if it lasts that long!
This was served warm and topped with vanilla frozen yogurt. The kids gobbled it up and Sierra thought it was actually just a strawberry upside down cake which I found amusing. It took very little time to make and serves 8 depending on how generous your slices are.
I'm thinking of making fermented pickles out of the rest of the rhubarb in the fridge. I'll let you know :)
Recipes are going to vary from meals to medicines. It's all about healing from the inside out because we truly are what we eat. What's the point? Well, gardening and foraging for your own foods, shopping local and no processed garbage or pharmaceuticals for what ails you? I think that's enough of point, don't you?
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Your medicine is in the woods.
Your pharmacy is in your kitchen.