Spring has sprung and with it comes the gorgeous fruits and veggies we spend all winter waiting for! My great-grandmother Florrie loved this time of year because one of her favorites became available: rhubarb.
She could make the most miraculous dishes out of their beautiful shiny red stalks: stunning sugared tarts, tart-and-tangy compote and, my favorite, rhubarb with homemade shortcakes!
My great-grandmother would be sure to remind me to ALWAYS cut off the leaves of the plant, leaving just the astringent stalks. The leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid that can be used in ink, stain remover and metal polish, but shouldn’t be put in your mouth!
Here is her recipe for baked rhubarb and shortcakes. I hope you love it as much as my family does.
Rhubarb with Homemade Shortcakes
Medium baking dish
Large mixing bowl
Parchment-lined baking sheet
Medium mixing bowl or stand mixer
Ingredients for rhubarb:
2 pounds rhubarb, cut off leaves and trim each root end, slice into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
½ cup red wine
Vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Biscuits and vanilla whipped cream:
1 cup cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 cups chilled heavy cream, divided
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium baking dish, mix together the rhubarb, sugar and wine until well combined. Then scrape in the seeds from your vanilla bean and combine along with pod.
- Cook the rhubarb for 30 to 40 minutes until it has syrup pooling in the dish around it and is fork tender. Remove the dish from the oven. Using tongs, throw away your vanilla pod and let the mixture cool completely.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cup of flour. Gently whisk in 1 ½ cups of cream until just moist.
- Pour out your dough onto a floured work surface. Mold dough into a 1-inch-thick, 9-by-6-inch rectangle. Cut your dough in half, then three times crosswise to make eight biscuits.
- Gently place each biscuit on your baking sheet; don’t let them touch each other. Using your pastry brush, gently brush the biscuits with butter on their tops and sides. Bake biscuits for 20 minutes; allow to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the remaining 1 ½ cups of cream and vanilla extract/paste until peaks begin to form. If you like a more sugary flavor, you can add 2 tablespoons of sugar to your cream before whipping.
- Take a shortcake, cut in half and liberally spoon in rhubarb. Serve with your whipped cream!
I like to sprinkle on some julienned mint leaves as garnish. The rhubarb and biscuits can be made in advance: Rhubarb filling can be made five days ahead and the biscuits one day.