Weekend cooking: It’s the rhubarb season!

Last week I mentioned on twitter that I was baking a rhubarb-meringue cake and a weekend cooking participant asked me whether I am going to blog about it. I hadn’t planned to but then I had this idea of creating a series of blog posts about various vegetables or fruit to educate myself (and maybe others). You see, until two weeks ago I didn’t care for rhubarb. At all. But then our neighbour knocked at our door and brought me some. Not being a person to turn down a gift I took it and then searched the net for recipes and for instructions on how to use rhubarb – I had never made anything with rhubarb before.

What is rhubarb?

In spite of being used as a fruit – for jam, cake, compote – rhubarb is a vegetable in the botanical sense- Already in the third millennium BC the Chinese used its roots for medical purposes, the ancient Romans and Greeks did the same. The stalks were thrown away. Rhubarb

Rhubarb came to Europe only in the 18th century when an apothecary grew it in the UK. Only 1820 it made its way to the US and twenty years later into Germany and it seems the love for rhubarb still remains a rather regional matter. Its main areas of popularity are England, Germany, the three Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg)  and North America.  As opposed to ancient times, today we only use the stalks of rhubarb.

After I got this pack of rhubarb I went looking for a cake recipe and found this one. The day before I had had a very delicious lemon-meringue cake, so the meringue part immediately caught my eye.

Image credit: Wikipedia user 4028mdk09

Rhubarb honey-meringue cake
  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks (will need egg whites later)
  • 50g corn starch
  • 150g flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a bit shredded lemon peel
  • pinch of salt
  • 1kg rhubarb
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g honey (if desired) Mix all dough ingredients (up to the salt) thoroughly for about 3 minutes and spread evenly in a greased springform pan. If you can create a little edge.
    Heat oven to 190°C upper and lower heat.
    Wash rhubarb and cut ends off generously. Cut into 2cm wide pieces. Put on top of dough. Do NOT add sugar on top! Bake for 45 minutes.
    After half an hour whisk egg whites with lemon juice until very stiff. While continuously stirring add the sugar and honey (you can leave the honey away if you prefer the cake without).
    Take cake out of the oven and spread stiff egg white on top. Bake another 15 minutes until meringue is a honey-ish yellow.

Take out of the oven and let it cool down. Enjoy!

If you can’t get enough of rhubarb now, here are some more  Rhubarb recipes at Martha Stewart.

This post is part of

Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. For the other weekend cooking posts please go there.

14 Comments Write a comment

  1. I wanted some rhubarb for a recipe a few weeks ago and could not find any. Then yesterday, I saw it in a store, but did not buy it because I forgot what I wanted it for.

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  2. We used to grow rhubarb in Montana. The plants came with the house! My little sister and I would cut it and peel it, but keep the stalk long. Then we would get paper cups of sugar and go around dipping and biting, dipping and biting. It was actually really good that way.

    As a grown up(!) I have made strawberry rhubarb pie pretty often – but, never cake, so I may give this a whirl 😉

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  3. i used to dip my stalks of rhubarb in sugar as well. Just this week my rhubarb really got growing. I pulled a bunch of stalks to take to my parents. Turns out my dad really does not like it, so I took it over to my sister. My son lives there for school and that started a conversation of whether a fruit or veg. I will have to send him this recipe so they can surprise my sister tomorrow with a treat, oops, she is gluten intolerant, anyone have a recipe that would work for her.

    I’m looking forward to making this myself. thanks.
    Heather’s last post ..The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

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  4. I love rhubarb too but I’ve never seen it here in Lanzarote. A friend was telling me about a new rhubarb yoghurt they’d become partial to so I’ll have to try it when I go to UK next week.
    Little Nell’s last post ..All For Your Delight

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