This fruit dessert of rhubarb and berries with candied ginger is a cinch to make. The rhubarb lends tartness, the berries sweetness, and the ginger some sweet heat. Pillows of soft whipped cream mixed with crème frâiche bring it all together.–Deborah Madison
LC RHUBARB REFRESHER NOTE
Don’t forget to trim not just the ends but any tough strings from the rhubarb. Just take our word for it.
Rhubarb with Berries and Candied Ginger
- 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed, or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon minute tapioca
- Juice and long strands of zest of 1 small orange
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- A handful to a few pints strawberries, mulberries, or blackberries
- Cream and crème fraîche
- 4 slices candied ginger cut into thin strips, for garnish
- Wash the rhubarb, trim off the ends of the stalks, then slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch chunks. If the stalks are very thick, halve them lengthwise first. Toss with the sugar, tapioca, orange juice, zest, and cloves.
- Arrange the mixture in an 8-by-10-inch gratin dish and let stand while you preheat the oven to 400°F (220°C). Cover the dish with foil and bake until the fruit is tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if you’re using strawberries, rinse them quickly, then slice thickly. Plunge mulberries briefly into water and remove any stems. When the rhubarb is done, remove it from the oven, scatter the berries over the top, and let stand with a piece of foil placed loosely over the top. The heat of the rhubarb will open the flavor of the berries, cooking them slightly. Serve the dessert chilled or at room temperature, garnished with cream and crème fraîche whipped together until billowy, and the candied ginger.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’m mystified how this recipe could sit neglected and not have a single comment on it for nearly four years! When I saw it, I had to try it out, and the results were terrific. We initially forgot the garnish of sliced ginger when we set out the serving dish and it was yummy as is, but adding the ginger allowed it to spring to life. And with a topping of rich, fresh dairy, it all comes together in taste and texture: tart, sweet, rich and then the zing! of the ginger–perfect! Of the suggested berries, I’d like to try the mulberries, simply because it’s so rare to see a use for them. They’re usually the roadkill of fruits, falling ripe off trees and wasted on the ground. But I think strawberries will always be the best bet, not only for the obvious flavor combination, which could perhaps be matched by either the mulberries or the blackberries, but also for the color. The baked rhubarb isn’t a very pretty color, and the red of the strawberries plus the white of the whipped dairy add the necessary visual cues. Another plus for this recipe is that it’s all fruit–no piecrust, no crumb or biscuit topping, just the seasonal fruit speaking beautifully for itself. We served it at room temperature and found it rich enough to serve more than four.
Originally published July 19, 2008