Fall Rhubarb

zensojournerSeptember 18, 2012

I haven't had rhubarb in years, mostly because I keep missing it during the spring season.

But a local grocery had some fall rhubarb in and I broke down and bought some, even though the only thing we ever did with fall rhubarb (which was usually from plants we were phasing out so they were old plants) was make preserves, as it was supposed to be too tough for baking.

But there was supposed to be a way to make it better suited to baking, and it had to do with macerating it. But since we ALWAYS macerated rhubarb, I'm guessing there was something more to it, like par-boiling it or leaving it to macerate longer or adding something more to it than just the sugar ... I just can't remember, it's been like 35 years since the last time I even canned any.

Does anybody have any idea how to treat fall rhubarb so it's not too tough to bake with? I'd really like to make a rhubarb crumble. I have some crystallized ginger I just made yesterday that'd go great with it.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I don't know of any special treatments or processes for using fall rhubarb - not that they don't exist just that I'm not aware of them. All I do is peel late season rhubarb, strip out the strings as much as possible, and then use it/process it just as I do for spring rhubarb - baking and all. No noticeable difference to me.

Flora happens by here often and works a great deal with rhubarb as she has some monster plants so she may have some tips on different ways to deal with it.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:06PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If you mean me, digdirt, I can't really help. I don't use rhubarb in the Autumn as it is fibrous and will be dying down soon. Plus I have a freezer full. Not sure I've ever come across Fall rhubarb for sale. I can only suggest you stew a piece and see what the texture is like. I can't see that any technique could actually stop it being fibrous once it's gone that way.

Here they are again just for fun.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:44PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yep, that's the monster! :)


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:51PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Just showing off .... (Actually it's nothing to do with me. The climate and the soil do the work).

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 3:56PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

We still have beautiful rhubarb but if I wanted to use some I'd have to prepare a small test batch to see how tender it is. I just don't know any other reliable method.

Depending upon the late-season weather it may still be tender.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:19AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

The secret is in the picking. Just pick the youngest most tender stalks towards the center of the plants.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:26PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

sandy0255 - at the beginning of the season lots of people here force rhubarb under covers. In fact there is quite an industry in forced rhubarb which is kept in large sheds with no light. It produces very tender pale pink stems.

Later in the season the outdoor rhubarb is so prolific and fast growing it will be tender from anywhere on the plant. I actually pick mostly from the outside because the inner stems are still growing and that is where the new growth will come from. The stems in my picture are outer stems.

The rhubarb is now over for this year. The old stems are just brown mush. It will get a bucket of muck soon and a nice chilly, wet winter. Just what it likes.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:11PM
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