A couple of years ago, a friend and neighbor gave me her rhubarb plants for my garden. She had to do some landscaping and needed to get rid of them. I was very excited about it, though, the only thing I had cooked up to that moment, was a rhubarb compote.
A little information about rhubarb. In culinary use, fresh raw stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong, tart taste. When buying rhubarb choose fresh crisp stalks, and peel off any stringy covering before use. Stand the stalks in cold water for an hour or so to refresh them before cooking. The stalks can be stored for 2-4 weeks at 32 F.
Most commonly, the plant’s stalks are cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts. It is important to know that rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances – humans have been poisoned after ingesting the leaves. So, before use, discard any leaves and trim the ends. Completely peeling rhubarb is unnecessary.
Gluten-free Ginger Rhubarb Scones
Since then I experimented with a few recipes, but, so far, pairing the rhubarb with ginger, in what in the United States we sometimes call a scone, has been my favorite.
Truth be told, the original scone, traditional in England, is made with butter, flour, baking powder, salt, a little bit of sugar, dried fruit and/or spices, and milk or cream. An original British scone does not have eggs in it. In America, I have seen recipes for scones with eggs. Don’t get me wrong, these “scones” are absolutely delicious. They are just not what is traditionally called a scone.
This distinction aside, I want to share this fabulous recipe with you. Enjoy them out of the oven, or freeze them unbaked until you are ready to eat them. After taking them out of the freezer, brush them with heavy cream and sprinkle them with turbaned sugar, and bake them in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes or so.
Rhubarb 2 sticks (4-5 oz)
Simona’s flour mix 2 cups (11 oz)
Baking powder 4 teaspoons
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup (3.5 oz)
Powdered ginger 2 teaspoons
Butter 8 Tablespoons (4 oz), chilled
Egg 1 large
Heavy cream 1/2 cup (4 oz)
Crystallized ginger 1/2 cup (3.2 oz) cut in pea size pieces
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and cut the sticks of rhubarb in half long ways, then cut them in half-inch pieces. Put them in a microwavable dish and microwave for 40-60 seconds. Set aside.
In a bowl of a food processor, thoroughly mix the flour, the baking powder, sugar, and powdered ginger. Add the chilled butter in pieces, and pulse until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Transfer the mixture in a medium bowl, and add the rhubarb and the crystallized ginger. Make a well in the center, and add the egg and heavy cream. Use your hands to work the dough until it barely holds its shape. Don’t over-mix it, or the butter will soften and the scones will lose their flakiness.
Turn the dough into a surface and pat it into a round shape. Use a bench scraper to cut 8 triangles. Place the scones on the baking sheet and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Brush them lightly with heavy cream, and sprinkle them with turbaned sugar.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until lightly brown. Enjoy while still warm!