Baking With Rhubarb Brings Back Memories

Posted: March 27, 2013

The Amish Cook

Rhubarb finds its way into so many baked goods. It adds a nice, tart taste to everything. Mom often baked with her homegrown rhubarb, which she never had any trouble growing.

If you want to start your own rhubarb patch, plant it one year and use it the next. I have always had luck doing so. By waiting a year, the plant has time to develop roots.

I got my starts from a lady in church and planted a whole row of them; every year, they get fuller and spread out more. I plant mine in full sun, because I don’t think the plants do as well in the shade. A lot of times people will plant at the edge of their garden. We do this and also put horse manure around the plants in the spring, which seems to help them grow.

The rhubarb is one of the first goodies ready to be harvested in the spring, and this recipe is a great way to starting using it.

Rhubarb Squares

For the filling:

4 cups rhubarb cut into ¼-inch pieces

2 cups water

1 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon almond flavoring

For the crust:

¾ cup shortening, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch pan and set aside.

To make the filling, cook the rhubarb, water and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat until bubbling. Then add the cornstarch and stir until the mixed throughout. Continue to stir until the mixture has thickened. Add the almond flavoring and stir. Keep on the stove over low heat.

To make the crust, combine shortening, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, flour, oats, and cinnamon in a large bowl until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Take half of the crumbs and pat them into the bottom of the prepared pan. Remove the filling from the heat and pour over the bottom crust, spreading it evenly. Top with the remaining half of the crumbs evenly over the filling. Bake until the crust is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 minutes.

When I was growing up, we would have rhubarb shortcake straight from the oven in the evenings for supper. Mom would sprinkle sugar and cold milk on top.

We never had it for breakfast unless it was left over. My dad wouldn’t put milk on it; he would just eat it warm. I have fixed rhubarb shortcake for my children many times, and some like it more than others. If we have ice cream in the freezer, they would prefer it be topped with that. We never had that choice growing up. They don’t care for the milk on the rhubarb as I did when I was younger. The children do really like rhubarb juice and jam.

Rhubarb Shortcake

3 cups sour milk

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the soda, baking power, flour, and salt. Then gradually add the sour milk until a soft dough forms. Spread a layer of this dough in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan, and add a thick layer of rhubarb topped with sugar. Put the sugar on the rhubarb. Put rest of the dough on top and bake until the rhubarb is tender, about 45 minutes.

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