Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA




Hello, gorgeous! I am so happy you’re here for a visit!

Rhubarpalooza 2001 started back in early May when I started my Rhubarb Cordial.  It’s really easy to make and crazy delicious.

Making Rhubarb Cordial

Making Rhubarb Cordial

Making Rhubarb Cordial

Rhubarb + sugar + vodka + time = a world of win!


Rhubarpalooza 2011 continued with me making some Rhubarb Syrup to mix with my Rhubarb Cordial:



The marriage of my Rhubarb Cordial and Rhubarb Syrup begat two Rhubarb Cocktails.



And finally, because we needed some solid food up in here, the Rhubarb Tarts that I have been wanting to make for ooooohhhhhh, a year, made an appearance.






The tarts were the real star (no offense to the performers!) at the first Lowell Summer Music Series show (and picnic!) of the season: Chris Isaak.

Picnicking at the Chris Isaak show at Boardinghouse Park

The show was AH-MA-ZING!

(And Gist helpfully reminds me that I hadn’t yet enjoyed my tart at right about the three-minute mark in Wicked Game 🙂 )

Rhubarb Cordial
Recipe courtesy of Food 52

  • 2 pounds Rhubarb, cleaned and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 liter vodka

Place rhubarb pieces in a large clean glass jar. Pour sugar on top of rhubarb. Pour vodka into jar and stir all ingredients together. Let this concoction sit for 1 month or longer, stirring every so often to help break down the sugar and the fruit.

Rhubarb Syrup
Recipe courtesy of The Kitchn

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Combine everything in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Ladle into a fine strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth) that has been placed over a large bowl. Strain until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Give a little press on the solids with a spoon to extract more syrup.

Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle, cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate. It should keep for quite some time in the fridge.

Rhubarb Cocktail #1

  • 2 parts Rhubarb Cordial
  • 2 parts fresh lemon juice
  • 1 part Rhubarb Syrup
  • Lemon twist

Stir (or shake, if that’s how you roll) all ingredients in ice until the mixture is too cold to handle. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a twist.

Rhubarb Cocktail #2

  • Equal parts Rhubarb Cordial and Rhubarb Syrup
  • Club soda to fill your glass

Combine all ingredients with ice in a glass. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Tarts
Recipe courtesy of Good to the Grain, Smitten Kitchen variation

  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Rhubarb Vanilla Compote (recipe below)

Sift the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, add the butter and turn the mixture speed to low and mix to break up the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is as coarse as cornmeal. Add the heavy cream and egg yolks and mix until combined. The dough will look crumbly but when pinched between your fingers, it will come together.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Lightly flour a work surface and using the heel of your hand, flatten the dough into a rough circle. Continue flattening until it is approximately 5 inches in diameter. Try to work quickly, so the dough doesn’t get too warm and soft, making it harder to handle. For more elegant edges, gently flatten the outer edge of the circle with your fingertips, making it thinner than the rest of the dough.

Spoon 3 tablespoons of the Rhubarb Vanilla Compote into the center of the dough. Fold the edge of the dough toward the compote and up, to create a ruffled edge; continue around the perimeter, letting the ruffles be their bad irregular selves. Slide a bench scraper or spatula under the tart and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough. Freeze the tarts on their tray for at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks, wrapped tightly in plastic.

Preheat over to 375°F. Bake tarts, still frozen, for about 35 minutes or until the edges of the tarts are brown and the rhubarb is bubbling and thick. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Rhubarb Vanilla Compote

  • 2 pounds rhubarb stalks
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim the very ends. Cut them in half lengthwise (unless they’re very slim) and then on the diagonal into 3/4-inch chunks. Leaving the last 1 1/2 cups aside, put 3 cups of the rhubarb into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the brown sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pods and turn the heat to medium low. (You want to start at a low temperature to encourage the rhubarb to release its liquid. Unlike most compotes, this one adds no water.) Cook the rhubarb mixture, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is saucy. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium, cooking an additional 15 to 17 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down and thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan. Discard your vanilla bean pods and add remaining rhubarb chunks to the compote. Pour the compote out onto a large plate to cool.


3 thoughts on “Rhubarpalooza!

  1. Wow- when you told me about these drinks made my mouth water but seeing your beautiful photos make me want to run to get one!! Thank you for posting the recipes! I want to make those tarts. Did you grow the rhubarb?

  2. Rhubarb tart sounds (and looks) good!!

  3. Wow You’ve taken rhubarb to a whole new level for me. I have stalks still a growin’. I am gonna try the rhubarb cordial. Yowzaa!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s