Deborah Madison's Two Summer Rhubarb Pur\u00e9es

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]


These two rhubarb purées from Seasonal Fruit Desserts exemplify the lovely simplicity of Deborah Madison's dessert-making. Just a few stalks of rhubarb, a cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and some citrus are simmered together to create two uniquely flavored, versatile purées that can be used as a topping for ice cream, a drizzle over pound cake, or when reduced further, a filling for a simple tart.

The Green Rhubarb Purée with Grapefruit is all brightness and acidity with the grapefruit or Meyer lemon zest and juice. I'm almost tempted to strain it and try it out as a cocktail mixer.

And the Red Rhubarb Purée with Maple, Cinnamon, and Orange has warm flavors from the maple and spices and a hint of zest from the orange. It would pair perfectly with a scoop of caramel or dulce de leche ice cream.

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Deborah Madison's Two Summer Rhubarb Purées

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About This Recipe

Yield:2 1/2 to 3 cups

Ingredients

  • For Green Rhubarb Puree
  • 2 1/2 pounds green rhubarb (about 10 cups chopped)
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest
  • 1/3 cup juice from 1 or 2 grapefruits or 2 Meyer lemons
  • Pinch of salt
  • For Red Rhubarb Purée with Maple, Cinnamon, and Orange
  • 2 1/2 pounds red rhubarb (about 10 cups, chopped)
  • 1 cup maple sugar or organic brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt

Procedures

  1. 1

    Green Rhubarb Purée with Grapefruit

  2. 2

    Trim the ragged ends of the rhubarb. If the stalks look tough or fibrous, peel them. Chop them into 1-inch chunks, them put them in a 3-quart saucepan with the sugar, zest, juice, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the rhubarb has broken down into a rough puree, about 20 minutes. Don't use a food processor ;the look of the textured threads of rhubarb is appealing. Chill well.

  3. 3

    Red Rhubarb Purée with Maple, Cinnamon, and Orange

  4. 4

    Trim the ragged ends of the rhubarb. If the stalks look tough or fibrous, peel them. Chop them into 1-inch chunks, them put them in a 3-quart saucepan with the sugar, zest, juice, spices and salt. Cook over medium heat until the rhubarb has broken down into a rough puree, about 20 minutes. Don't use a food processor ;the look of the textured threads of rhubarb is appealing. Chill well.

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