Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

StrawberryRhubarbShortcake_PBiddle5_2_2013

As I write this I am alternating between typing and shoving spoonfuls of strawberry rhubarb goodness in my mouth. It’s just that good. I am not a big sweets eater and have even been known to buy a candy bar just to realize that I don’t really like candy bars. When it comes to desserts I look for a balance between sweet and tart and, in the summer, that often means berries and a dollop of cream.

Strawberry Shortcake is a summer barbecue favorite that pops up all over the place from the deep south to northern california. My twist is rhubarb. Rhubarb is one of those plants that gets hated on all the time because people just don’t understand it. I grew up gnawing on it all summer as it took the place of ice cream, cookies, etc. as a sweet summer treat. For all you out there looking at me quizzically, yes, I know rhubarb isn’t sugary sweet. Instead it has a deliciously complex flavor that, at first bite, makes you cringe and curl your toes from sour-ness – this mellows into a soft, sweet, and detectible treat.

This recipe makes enough for 6-8 and is great when feeding a crowd OR you can be like me and make it at 11am on a Thursday morning in your dressing gown 🙂

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake (6-8)

  • 2.5 cups strawberries, rinsed, cored and quartered.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1″ segments
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp mint, chiffonaded + leaves for garnish
  • 1 biscuit per person – I go the bisquick route because I am lazy but any plain biscuit will do.
  1. Heat rhubarb and water in thick-bottom saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir occasionally until the rhubarb starts to break down. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Continue to cook at a low simmer until the rhubarb has completely broken down and has reduced to a thick spreadable sauce. Remove from heat and let cool. (Can be done 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated)
  2. Whisk cream by hand until it is fluffy and holds soft peaks.
  3. Slice biscuits in have widthwise.
  4. In the bottom of a  glass (or on a plate) smear ~1tbsp of rhubarb sauce in a circle the size of the biscuit.
  5. Layer in whipped cream and strawberries. Gently top with 1/2 of biscuit, pressing down softly.
  6. Add another layer of rhubarb sauce, whipped cream, and strawberries.
  7. Top with remaining biscuit halve. Add a final smear of rhubarb, a dollop of cream, and garnish with mint leaves.
  8. For optimized results let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the biscuits to soften and soak up yummy goodness.
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