Forgotten Rhubarb Recipes • from crumble to fool! (2024)

Vintage rhubarb recipes your great grandma made ~ from crumbles and pies, to cordials and fools ~ and they’re ready for a delicious comeback!

Forgotten Rhubarb Recipes • from crumble to fool! (1)

vintage rhubarb recipes

Rhubarb is easy to grow and there are rhubarb patches in backyards all over America hitting their stride right now. With the proper care, it can produce from April right through fall. Rhubarb is also one of the first crops available in the spring, which helps explain why there are so many beloved rhubarb recipes out there.

Rhubarb is often paired with sweet strawberries to balance out its famously tart taste but in these classic recipes rhubarb is the star. The flavor is sour if you try to eat it raw, but cooked rhubarb mellows out and has a berry-like flavor that so many of us (raising hand!) find irresistible.

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Rhubarb was definitely more popular in the past century than it is now, particularly during the early to mid-1900s. In fact, during World War II, rhubarb became an important crop because it was hardy and could grow in less than ideal conditions. Our grandmas and great-grandmas treasured their rhubarb recipes but so many of them have been forgotten. Here are just a few of the best.

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Rhubarb Ice Cream

Rhubarb ice cream has been around for many years and was particularly popular in the early 1900s when ice cream parlors were in their heyday. It’s since been eclipsed by modern ice cream flavors, but the tart flavor is definitely one you need to try.

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Rhubarb Jelly

Rhubarb jelly is a great way to ‘spring-i-fy’ your morning toast or scone. But did you know it was also a dessert? It was especially popular in the early to mid-20th century, when jellies and other molded desserts were in vogue.

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Rhubarb Curd

Silky rhubarb curd is a throwback to traditional British farmhouse cooking where every last stalk of rhubarb would have been used in pies and preserves like this one.

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Old Fashioned Rhubarb Crunch

Rhubarb crunch is a dessert that is similar to a crisp or a crumble. It is made with a layer of diced rhubarb on the bottom, topped with a mixture of oats, flour, sugar, and butter. When baked, the topping becomes crispy and golden brown, while the rhubarb becomes soft and tender.

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Rhubarb Cordial

This old time tipple is easily made by infusing cooked rhubarb with vodka. The traditional way is to let the mixture sit for about a month. My way is faster and I think produced better rhubarb flavor ~ give it a try!

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Rhubarb Fool

This vintage rhubarb recipe has been around since the 1600s! Basically you fold cooked rhubarb into whipped cream and you’ve done it! It’s light and refreshing, but obviously rich at the same time. All in all, rhubarb fool is a fabulous spring dessert that takes hardly any effort at all.

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Rhubarb Soda

The way they used to refresh before co*ke and Pepsi! Just mix a rhubarb simple syrup with fizzy water and voila!

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Rhubarb Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake doesn’t hold a candle to rhubarb shortcake! How could it? Rhubarb brings its famously tart berry flavor to the party and makes this dessert even more irresistible.

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Rhubarb Butter

Rhubarb butter is a sweet spread made from cooked rhubarb that is blended to a smooth, buttery consistency. It concentrates the unique flavor of rhubarb

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Rhubarb Bars

Gorgeously pink and tangy rhubarb curd bars are right off the church bazaar bake sale table, where they’re always to first to disappear.

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No Bake Rhubarb Dream Bars

You won’t find anything like these rhubarb dream bars at a restaurant or a bakery, they’re the kind of thing your grandma would whip up on a summer afternoon — they have a simple, vintage charm.

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Rhubarb Bread

Old fashioned rhubarb bread is a tender quick bread loaded with sweet tart nuggets of fruit. Grandma would have offered you a slice the minute you walked into her kitchen.

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Rhubarb Pudding Cake

This recipe dates back to the 1930s and is a delicious combination of tangy rhubarb and sweet cake. If you’ve had my Warm Lemon Pudding Cake you’ll have the idea. The one below is from Seasons & Suppers.

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Rhubarb Custard Pie

This is a classic American dessert that was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is made by lining a pie crust with stewed rhubarb, then pouring a custard mixture over the top and baking until set. The Lemon Apron’s version is below.

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Rhubarb Grunt

This is one classic rhubarb dessert recipe that definitely stands the test of time, from Boulder Locavore.

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Rhubarb Pie

Garnish and Glaze’s rhubarb pie has a gorgeous old time style lattice crust.

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Pickled Rhubarb

A super simple pickled rhubarb recipe from Autumn Giles’ Beyond Canning. If you love ‘quickles’, check out my How To Quick Pickle (almost) Anything tutorial.

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Rhubarb wine

The University of Vermont sustainable food systems program shares this easy method for making old time rhubarb wine. I like it because you don’t need any special wine making equipment.

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Sugar Rhubarb

Eating raw rhubarb dipped in sugar is a traditional practice, especially among children, in the Northern United States, Canada, and Scandinavian countries. In Sweden it’s known as “rabarberpaj,” or rhubarb pie.

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Sugar Rhubarb

5 from 6 votes

Nostalgic rhubarb recipes you'll want to try this spring!

Print RecipePin RecipeRate Recipe

Prep Time:5 minutes minutes

Total Time:5 minutes minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk raw rhubarb, washed
  • sugar for dipping

Instructions

  • Rinse your rhubarb and trim both ends. Be sure to trim off all the leaves, as they are toxic.

  • Dip the ends of the rhubarb into the sugar and enjoy! Double dipping is encouraged 🙂

NEW FEATURE! Click here to add your own private notes.

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Author: Sue Moran

Keyword: dessert, rhubarb, spring

Nutrition

Serving: 1 stalk · Calories: 27 kcal · Carbohydrates: 7 g · Protein: 0.5 g · Fat: 0.1 g · Saturated Fat: 0.03 g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g · Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02 g · Sodium: 2 mg · Potassium: 147 mg · Fiber: 1 g · Sugar: 5 g · Vitamin A: 52 IU · Vitamin C: 4 mg · Calcium: 44 mg · Iron: 0.1 mg

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although The View from Great Island attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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