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At the winter market last Saturday I was delighted to see a big pile of beautiful rhubarb on one of the vendor tables. I’m pretty sure a thought bubble appeared over my head with the words, “Now what wonderful things can I do with this full bag of fresh rhubarb?”

Here’s a sweet-tart creamy dessert that can be eaten chilled or frozen in ramekins for later. What a great way to celebrate spring and a new season at the Market!

Rhubarb Mousse

by Todd Coleman for Saveur

5.4.13 Earthly Delights RhubarbIngredients:

  • 1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1⁄3 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Bring rhubarb and apple juice to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer rhubarb and juice to a blender along with 1 tbsp. brown sugar, plus the salt and cinnamon; puree until smooth. Whisk rhubarb purée, yolks, and remaining brown sugar together in the pan and return to medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form; add to rhubarb mixture. Fold gently until combined; set aside. Whisk cream and vanilla in a bowl until stiff peaks form; add to rhubarb mixture. Fold until combined. Spoon into serving cups; chill before serving. Makes 4 ½ cups.

Cook’s Note: You can get real vanilla extract from Lick Ice Cream!

Rhubarb is wonderfully versatile! You can make it sweet or savory or a bit of both. You can spice it up, herb it up, serve it hot or cold, as the star of the dish or an awesome addition. I love the idea of the Angelica in the jam recipe, but I realize it may be hard to find. I plan to try some other herbs in its place — like basil or tarragon. 

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

Poached Rhubarb Poppy-Seed Crisp

Rhubarb Granita

Spiced Braised Rhubarb

Rhubarb Muffins with Almond Streusel

Rhubarb Angelica Jam