Monday, May 23, 2016

lazy rosy rhubarb

the original + a gluten-free, refined sugar-free variation








Of all the fruits of my garden I truly believe the one I most eagerly anticipate every year is beautiful, bountiful, tart and juicy, red rhubarb. Perhaps that is because it is the first brave perennial to push its shoots through the still cold soil towards the light, mostly though I just really like rhubarb. I like the plant with those ridiculously large and luxurious leaves and gorgeous ruby stems, and I love the pucker-up tartness tempered with some sweet. I prefer rhubarb desserts unsullied by other anything. No strawberries, raspberries, or apples in my rhubarb pies, cobblers, scones, or tarts. And to tell the truth I can't think of any 'fruit' dessert that appeals to me more than rhubarb. (A strange thing that because I wouldn't be me without an apple a day, some blueberries somehow for breakfast, or a large chunk of juicy watermelon in the summer.) Of all the rhubarb sweet endings to a meal my favourite is lazy rosy rhubarb. From our littlest little to the ones with the most years to their credit, we all love lazy rosy rhubarb.

I was certain I had posted a recipe for lazy rosy rhubarb because it is just the best way to end a meal when rhubarb is in season. It is the reason to squirrel away as much of the rhubarb harvest as possible in the freezer (without ruining the seasonal enjoyment) for winter treats when spring seems an eternity  away. In fact I was so certain that when a friend asked for the recipe I suggested they search here for it and was dumbfounded to be told it wasn't here. I was still so certain that I searched through all the old posts right back to the start and it is not here. There are recipes for other rhubarb wonderfulness and it was good to be reminded of some that I had totally forgotten about  (baked vanilla yogurt with rhubarb and blueberries - how does one forget about that?! and individual rhubarb maple custard pies) but no lazy rosy rhubarb.

I first stumbled across the recipe when my kids were very small. It was in one of those collections of favourite recipes that come stapled together in booklets; gathered from family and friends and shared with love. I have no idea where this particular collection came from and the stapled together booklet has not survived a couple of moves to and from Japan, plus another to Vancouver and back to Calgary so I can't credit the original author if they were even recognized to begin with. All I can say is that we have been blessing their name for years with every bite. It is one of those super simple, quick and easy, good to have in your back pocket recipes. Plus it is a little bit magic. It ends up nothing like you expect it will when you start out and is so much better than the simple sum of its parts. If all of this doesn't inspire you to try it I give up. There is no hope. Clearly.

lazy rosy rhubarb

Rhubarb sauce:
4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

Combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender - about 10 minutes. Stir in nutmeg and vanilla.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a  deep 9" baking dish (I always use ceramic but after thinking about it that is probably because it just looks prettier) in the oven while it heats. 

While the butter is melting combine:

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk

About now the butter should be melted and starting to foam. Take the baking dish with the butter out of the oven. Pour the batter evenly over the butter. DO NOT STIR.  Top with 3 cups of rhubarb sauce. Again DO NOT STIR. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until nicely browned. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a generous pour of fresh cream.

the gluten-free refined sugar-free lazy rosy

(for those who prefer to avoid refined sugars and gluten - not dairy free*)

Rhubarb sauce:
4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

Combine and bring to a simmer over a low flame. Watch it carefully so as not to scorch your rhubarb. Simmer until tender, Stir in nutmeg and vanilla.

Melt the butter as per the original recipe. For the batter combine:

1 cup gluten-free flour mix**
2/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup coconut or other nut milk

Pour the batter evenly over the butter. DO NOT STIR.  Top with 3 cups of rhubarb sauce. Again DO NOT STIR. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until nicely browned. Serve with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream.

*This doesn't work well with butter substitutes. If you can't have butter... (I am so sorry, truly).

**Use any good  cup for cup gf flour mix  - perhaps Bob's Red Mill or my gf mix (at the bottom of the post).





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