Rhubarb season is right around the corner, which means you can start thinking up ways to use the popular fruit in desserts.

Fruit Cobbler

Makes 6 servings

This recipe works well with frozen fruit such as frozen berries.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 5 cups (1.25 L) mixed fruit (coarsely chopped fresh rhubarb and mixed frozen berries)
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp (20 to 30 mL) all-purpose flour

Ingredients for topping:

  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) sifted cake-and-pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) cold unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) whipping cream

Instructions for filling:

  1. In a 6-cup (1.5 L) gratin or shallow baking dish, combine the fruit with the sugar and flour, using the larger amount of flour if the fruit is very juicy.
  2. Set aside while preparing the topping.

Instructions for topping:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal. (Make-Ahead: cover and refrigerate up to several days ahead.)
  3. Add the cream and stir lightly until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Spoon the mixture over the fruit in a single layer or in 6 individual patties, no more than ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick.
  4. Bake in the centre of a 375 F (190 C) oven until the topping is brown, the berry juices bubble thickly around it and the topping is no longer doughy underneath, 40 to 45 minutes.

Lunar Rhubarb Cake

Makes 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped rhubarb in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Ingredients for lunar topping

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter,cubed and softened


  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch metal cake pan with parchment paper or use soft butter to grease the pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until smooth, light and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, soda and salt. Scoop out 2 tbsp and toss with the rhubarb; set aside.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts. Sprinkle the rhubarb mixture over the batter and fold in. Scrape into the prepared pan; smooth the surface.
  4. Instructions for lunar topping: In a medium bowl and using a fork, mash together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and blend together until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake in the centre of a preheated 350° oven until the fragrance from the oven overwhelms hangers-on in the kitchen, the surface is crusty and golden brown with pink lumps here and there. Certainly no terrestrial cake. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. This takes about 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a rack to eating-warm temperature. (Make-ahead: Let cool completely. Double wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Lovely served warm with softly whipped cream.


Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

"As simple as pie", as some say, only a whole lot simpler and just as winning a way to bake rhubarb.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups halved strawberries

Ingredients for topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened


  1. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking dish or other baking dish with a 12 cup capacity; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Measure the rhubarb and strawberries into a large bowl; sprinkle the cinnamon mixture overtop and toss to coat the fruit evenly. Scrape into the prepared baking dish; level the top.
  3. Instructions for topping: Using the same medium bowl (no sense dirtying another bowl), blend together the flour and brown sugar. With a fork, mash in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture.
  4. Bake in the centre of a 350°F oven until bubbly, topping is golden and crisp, and the fruit tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Serve warm. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Set aside for up to 8 hours. Reheat to serve.) Divine with softly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or thick yogurt.


Rhubarb Custard Pie

Makes 6 servings

If my family knew they could have only one pie all year, this is the one they’d choose…reason enough for nicknaming rhubarb the “pie plant”. This was my mother’s recipe, the very first thing I ever demonstrated on television almost thirty years ago and on almost everyone’s list of favourites. Wait for fresh, local rhubarb since the forced rhubarb tends to be too juicy and may make the filling runny.


  • 3 cups rhubarb, coarsely chopped 750 mL (1-inch/2.5 cm pieces)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 250 mL
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 45 mL
  • 2 tbsp butter, cubed 25 mL
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten 2
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (23 cm) pie shell (page xx) 1

Ingredients for meringue:

  • 2 egg whites 2
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar 1 mL
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 50 mL
  • 2 tbsp water 25 mL
  • ½ tsp vanilla 2 mL
  • ¼ tsp salt 1 mL


  1. In a large bowl, stir together rhubarb, sugar, flour and butter; stir in egg yolks.
  2. Spoon into pie shell.
  3. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake another 30 minutes or until filling is bubbling and rhubarb is tender.
  4. Remove pie from oven.
  5. Place on a wire rack and let cool to lukewarm.

Instructions for meringue:

  1. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar for 3 to 5 minutes, until stiff, moist peaks form.
  2. Very gradually beat in sugar.
  3. Add water, vanilla and salt; beat until very stiff, shiny peaks form. Spread meringue over lukewarm pie, making sure meringue touches pastry edges all the way around.
  4. Swirl meringue decoratively with a knife. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for about 12 minutes or until tips of meringue are golden brown.
  5. Let pie cool slowly.