Field of Science

Rhubarb delights

Rhubarb is one of the true delights of spring. It's fairly easy to grow, a dependable, non-fussy perennial.  However it's amazing how many times people say they don't particularly care for rhubarb.  Now as TPP has mentioned before Mrs. Phactor is a very accomplished woman and pie making is one of those accomplishments (here for the record), and rhubarb makes awesomely good pie as long as you don't include strawberries, which don't make good pie. So the point is simple, when you have rhubarb pie for breakfast you've started your day out right. Now as if that wasn't enough, here's part 2 of your rhubarb double header: an Aperol Sour. Actually TPP doesn't know the actual name of this cocktail because he was looking for recipes that used a peculiar ingredient: rhubarb bitters. It happens the Phactors were in a big box liquor store buying a bottle of wine or two for the month and there was a display of bitters, and having previously discovered the value of orange bitters (try them in an Old Fashioned cocktail), Mrs. Phactor loving most things rhubarb bought the rhubarb bitters. That was like 2 years ago, but they have long shelf life apparently. OK, so here's the cocktail: 1 oz gin, 1 oz Aperol, 1 oz lime juice, 2 dashes of rhubarb bitters, and 1/4 to 1/2 oz of simple syrup well shaken with ice and served in a cocktail glass. Aperol is a red Campari like apperitif that uses rhubarb as part of its flavoring. If you like really tart drinks, omit the simple syrup. The lime was very tart, so a touch of simple syrup balanced the cocktail, but this is not a sweety type kiddy cocktail although it does look pink. This would prompt the same reaction as when TPP let his adult nieces and nephews, and even some of their parents, try a Negroni (a Florentine cocktail consisting of 1:1:1 (think ounces) gin, Campari, and sweet Vermouth) built on the rocks. Too bitter, not sweet enough was the general reaction, and then they left TPP's booze alone. Mission accomplished. Hope this pleases my readers. An endorsement for rhubarb pie for breakfast, and if anyone has a kuchen recipe with a rhubarb custard top (found in Switzerland), also eaten for breakfast, do pass it along, TPP has been looking for one, and a nice rhubarby cocktail for sipping in your garden.


nycguy said...

Are you looking for the standard German instant cake (Torte): a base of pate sucree (Mürbteig) topped with any and all fruits in some sort of stiffened fruit juice? In Germany you can buy the bottoms anywhere and just decorate it with the topping, The pate sucree is easy to make though.

You can find lots of Rhabarbertorte and Rhabarberkuchen recipes at (in German).

I agree with you about strawberries spoiling the rhubarb.

The Phytophactor said...

The rhubarb "confection" looked like a pizza where the topping was sort of a thin custardy layer with slices of rhubarb in it. A stack of there were for sale at a market in the AM with different fruit. What am I asking for?

nycguy said...

Something like this, maybe?

The comments say it's prettier with real pink rhubarb.