Sunday, August 09, 2009

Rhubarb Shortcakes...

I'm quite pleased with our little rhubarb patch this year! It sure seems to be holding its own and I can't seem to use it fast enough - while I'm giving plenty away and freezing some as I go, we are starting to run out of room after storing all those strawberries too. With three freezers (one chest freezer and two "regular" ones you'd find with a refrigerator), I really think it would be a bit much to get another one... I mean how much do two people really need to store?! But, I digress...

From my last rampage through the patch, I saved out a pound of the stalks so we could prepare these Rhubarb Shortcakes. Before the biscuits come into play though, I jumped into the compote we were going to fill them with. Chunky pieces of rhubarb, brown sugar, fresh ginger, a stick of cinnamon and a surprise ingredient, raisins, were heated through until the rhubarb exhausted it juices and began to break down. I used a combination of golden and dark raisins just because I had them both, but you can use one or the other - just measure out a half cup. Besides being able to keep the added sugar down since the raisins bring their own unique sweetness, the raisins plump up and add a pleasant chewy contrast to the more tender rhubarb.

While the biscuits were just a basic version, I had to impart my own spin on them by tossing a savory herb into the mix. Using the common ingredients flour, butter, just enough sugar to make them sweet, baking powder, salt and milk, the dough was a snap to prepare since all the work was done in a food processor. But, what about my addition? Since I've seen rosemary used in shortbread or other sweet cookies before, I went ahead and chopped up a few leaves from our plants on the deck and tossed them in too!

You don't have to bother rolling the dough for these shortcakes - just press it out into a rough rectangle, using as little additional flour as you can, then use a knife to slice it into squares. Rustic is beautiful! For a little crunch and sparkle, sugar dusts the top of each before being slid into the oven to bake. Jeff knew I was baking, but didn't know what until the bewitching aroma of the rosemary wandered upstairs. He came down and was expecting to see a loaf of bread or maybe dinner rolls, but his eyes opened wide when he saw the biscuits and he said "where's that rosemary smell coming from?". I said "You're looking at it!". Confused, he then had to offer "Oh, I see, drop biscuits to go with dinner... I was kind of hoping for a sweet treat today". Trying to explain my reasoning, he shrugged his shoulders and tromped back upstairs mumbling something about how he thought I was crazy. Then I had to go and start doubting myself until I took a bite from one of the cooling biscuits... crazy? I think not! You'll see!

Split and filled with with the cinnamon-ginger infused compote, I added a dollop of creamy vanilla yogurt on top and brought him up a plate. I forgot a fork and went back downstairs to get it, but by the time I got back I saw half of the tender biscuit gone with Jeff's fingers coated in compote! I smiled, left the fork (and a napkin...) and went to start cleaning up in the kitchen. Funny enough, minutes later, the same tromping was heard and he grumbled as his very clean plate was set into the sink "Okay, okay... I give, maybe that was a good idea!".

Being timid with the amount of rosemary, there was just a delightful hint of it throughout the biscuit - not in-your-face or objectionable, but unexpected and genuinely intriguing! If you'd like to go a little more decadent, replace the yogurt with a billowy dollop of freshly whipped cream, bound with a spoonful or two of confectioners' sugar for a special touch.


  1. LOL..I had to laugh at the three freezers for two people. Same situation here. It does get ridiculous sometimes, doesn't it. Your rhubarb shortcakes look delicious and I'd be all over those like white on rice, but hubby is allergic to rhubarb, so I'm just going to enjoy this through your photos!

  2. Love rhubard. I don't have any in the freezer right now. I wish. Your shortcakes are beautiful.

  3. My husband is the biggest fan of rhubarb! I'll have to remember this recipe to test it out on him and his picky-ness. :-)

  4. Mags - Too bad for him! And yes, ridiculous, but darn it I need all that space!

    Helene - Thanks!

    Kristilyn - Enjoy!