Monday, September 02, 2013

Norwegian Rhubarb Cake, and other Rhubarb Treats.

I have been thinking of rhubarb lately, and cooking some of it too. I find that I have actually given quite a few rhubarb recipes in this blog in the past. Here are the links:

There are surely some additional, and different, ideas for this fruit-which-is-botanically-a-vegetable? A brief search turned up a lovely-sounding Norwegian Rhubarb Cake. It was recipe of the week in the Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) on April 8, 1947, won Miss E. Powell, of 15 Welham Street, Beecroft a prize of one guinea. I eagerly await advice from my Norwegian friends as to how ‘authentic’ this cake is.

YOU NEED: one and a half pounds rhubarb; 4 oz. brown sugar; 2 oz. butter; yolks of 2 eggs; 4 oz. breadcrumbs; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 2 egg whites; 1½ oz. cornflour; castor sugar.
Wipe rhubarb and cut into pieces. Cook with the brown sugar till reduced to pulp. Work in the egg yolks while the pulp is still warm. Then add breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Whisk egg whites to a stiff froth and add the cornflour. Pour the mixture into a flat cake tin prepared with butter and flour. Bake 35 minutes in a moderate oven. Turn out, dredge with castor sugar and serve hot or cold.

I include the following recipe on two counts: one is that I love making jam, the other was that I was completely enchanted by the idea of an occupation of a ‘Practical Curer’?

Let the rhubarb be drawn on a dry day; wipe the stalks clean, but do not wash them, peel off the skin and coarse fibres, and slice the stalks thin. To each pound thus prepared allow a pound of sugar in fine powder; put the fruit in a pan, and strew a quarter of the sugar amongst and over it; let it stand until the sugar is dissolved, then boil it slowly to a smooth pulp; take it from the fire, and stir in the remainder of the sugar by degrees, and when it is melted, boil the preserve quickly until it becomes very thick, and leaves the bottom of the pan visible when stirred. The time required for this preserve will depend on the kind of rhubarb used, and the time of year in which it is made, and will vary from an hour and a half to two hours and a quarter. The juice should be slowly drawn from it at first.
The whole art of curing, pickling, and smoking meat and fish, both in the British and Foreign Modes; … (1847) by James Robinson (Practical Curer)

And last but by no means least – wine!  For medicinal reasons, of course.

WINE OF RHUBARB. (Vinum Rhabarbari. L.)
Take of sliced rhubarb, two ounces and a half;
-          lesser cardamom seeds, bruised and husked, half an ounce;
-          saffron, two drachms;
-          Spanish white wine, two pints;
-          proof spirit, half a pint:
Digest for ten days, and strain.
This is a warm, cordial, laxative medicine. It is used chiefly in weakness of the stomach and bowels, and some kinds of loosenesses, for evacuating the offending matter, and strengthening the tone of the viscera. It may be given in doses of from half a spoonful to three or four spoonfuls or more, according to the circumstances of the disorder, and the strength of the patient.

A New Family Herbal (1810) by John Thornton

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