Sunday Food: Rhubarb Dessert

Fresh rhubarb

Fresh rhubarb

(Picture courtesy of Kari Sullivan at

When rhubarb is in season, which happens now, you will find it at farm markets and could make a totally unusual treat.   Here, I’m even seeing it advertised at private homes, grown in home gardens.   It’s spikey, so needs sweetening for my taste.

This is one recipe for making rhubarb for your best use.


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 1-1/4 cups cold water, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
  • Ice cream, optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press 3 cups into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; set aside.

  2. Soak rhubarb in 1 cup cold water for 3 minutes; drain. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in remaining cold water until smooth. Add rhubarb, vanilla and food coloring if desired. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until thickened. Spoon over crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ice cream if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

If you haven’t had rhubarb before, here’s your chance!

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.


  1. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Morning. Some foul up in the post I did originally, wasn’t accepting comments, so I have replaced it with this new version, same post.
    hope all are having a good Sunday.

  2. Canyon2
    May 31, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Good morning everyone.
    Thank you for the post Ruth.
    I am like you in that I have to add sweeteners to the Rhubarb.

  3. Canyon2
    May 31, 2015 at 7:21 am

    What ever you did, you did good. I tried about 15 minutes ago and like you said it would not accept comments. Good morning.

  4. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Most of my encounters with rhubarb have been combined with strawberries, in pie. Since they are both ripening now, that makes sense. But cannot see eating it without adding sweetness.

  5. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Just copied, pasted, posted, then trashed the first post. Guess comments on food so early in a.m. disturbed Disqus’ sense of order.

  6. Chris Maukonen
    May 31, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I remember having rhubarb when I was young. My aunt and uncle grew it in their garden. Pretty tart as I remember.

  7. May 31, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I’ve always liked the concept of rhubarb pie, but have hardly ever had any.

  8. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 8:01 am

    It’s in gardens here, but I’ve never had it fresh from there, myself. Yep, needs sugar, or maple syrup which is also in season about now.

  9. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Only a couple of times, myself, but enjoyed it. Of course, I like tart flavors.

  10. joel
    May 31, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Dessert at Ruth’s house is special, Childhood delight, haven’t had it in too long.

  11. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Thanks, have been known to have the dessert for the meal.

  12. May 31, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Good morning.

    Used to have rhubarbs as a kid, but haven’t eaten it in a pie.

  13. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Got a recipe for that?

  14. May 31, 2015 at 9:13 am

    One bunch of kids from Wilson Grade School
    One bunch of kids from the Catholic Grade school
    One contentious playground.

    Mix well.

    It’s the Cicero IL recipe.

  15. joel
    May 31, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Just desserts?

  16. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 9:14 am

    hope so

  17. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Not sure it qualifies as health food.

  18. May 31, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Heath food? Don’t need no stinkin heath food.

    Al Capone wouldn’t have approved.

  19. May 31, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Off to generate my next Camera Work. A change of focus. This time it will highlight women photographers

  20. Ruth
    May 31, 2015 at 9:21 am

    He’d have cheated on his taxes for a piece of the action.
    i betcha.
    (what happened to the garden variety?)

  21. May 31, 2015 at 11:00 am

    My response to the pie variety is much like others here. Interesting but not that interesting.

  22. Alice X
    May 31, 2015 at 11:29 am

    The photography world lost an invaluable and legendary contributor yesterday. Mary Ellen Mark passed in Manhattan at the age of 75. Mark, who shot predominately in black and white, was responsible for countless iconic images from homeless youth in Seattle to circus performers, or prostitutes in Mumbai to mental patients. Whatever the chosen subject may have been which were often social issues, Mark had no difficulty producing resonating and arresting imagery. A well-known attribute to Mark’s approach wasestablishing strong and lasting relationships with her subjects and it shows in her photos. Her work spanned over 40 years with 18 collections of her work published. She had been awarded countless grants, fellowships and awards through her career. In her own words simply put, “Photograph the world as it is. Nothing’s more interesting than reality.”

  23. May 31, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    She is the lead in my post.

  24. Screwtape
    May 31, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    There’s a lot of rhubarb growing here in Mass. There are the familiar red varieties, but also green. I don’t think there’s any difference in taste, all are as sour as the dickens.
    If you have a green variety you can add a drop or two of red food coloring during cooking.

    If you want to grow it, let it enlarge for a couple of years or so before harvesting any. Cut just a few stalks from the plant once a year (same idea as with asparagus) so as not to unduly weaken the plant.

    The only edible part is the stalk. Do not eat the leaves, which contain oxalic acid and are poisonous. Stalks are perfectly safe though.

    For a thickener I use tapioca flour (Bob’s Red Mill). Arrowroot is similar and might work well.