26 Dec2008


Mrs. Marketman reminded me that in the Asterix series of comics, Obelix would sometimes be seen walking around muttering “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.” Heehee. And on the web somewhere, in a discussion group, I read that actors on a stage often repeatedly mutter “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb” when they want to re-create the din of a crowd talking. How this somewhat poisonous vegetable that turns into an utterly flavorful ingredient when stewed with some sugar achieved that postion in the realm of comics and theatre is a mystery to me… But never mind, I had 8 kilos of rhubarb to deal with so take a ride with me on some rhubarb experiments. First off, I tried to make a rhubarb compote but I cooked it too long and it disintegrated… with the luxury of 7 kilos more, I figured I would use an immersion blender and pass it through a sieve to make a rhubarb sauce… it was edible but not a repeat thing, if you know what I mean. Strike 1 for rhubarb. Next up, I repeated the compote idea, with chopped rhubarb, sugar, water, orange juice and orange rind and cooked it for a lot less time until it just started to soften, turned off the heat and let it sit. Do not stir the pot or you will mush the stems of rhubarb…


After a few hours, transfer it to a dish that can be stored in the fridge. Serve this utterly delicious sweet/tart and flavorful sauce with cheesecake or over vanilla ice cream with some lenguas de gato on the side. So easy, so incredibly delicious. An absolute third-base hit equivalent for so little effort.


Then I made several rhubarb and strawberry “pies” that were just as good as the first time I made them, here.


I also tried larger servings of the dessert, covered in overlapping cutouts of dough.


I made the dough early in the morning in a cold kitchen and chilled it sufficiently so I got a terrific crust. And the little individual pies all domed up nicely, a few leaking the wonderfully pink sauce from the the strawberries and rhubarb within. I used organic strawberries from Baguio that were SUPERB, small size and packed with flavor…


The larger pie turned out beautifully. I didn’t have enough filling in it but it looked stunning nonetheless. Both of the pies were home runs, if you ask me. :) Serve with heavy cream or vanilla ice cream. These were the desserts at our Christmas Eve meal the other day…



  1. diday says:

    Good morning, MM

    Dec 26, 2008 | 7:26 am


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  3. Doddie from Korea says:


    If you want minimal oozing of the sauce, try sprinkling flour or mixing the flour with your fruits. That will minimize the sauce from leaking out of the pie and make for wonderful, gooey sauce within. My usual rule for pie-fillings is that when the fillings are raw, double the amount of fruit. If my fillings are cooked, then there is less shrinkage in the pies.

    Merry Christmas and have a bountiful New Year to you and your family.


    Dec 26, 2008 | 7:53 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Hi Doddie, I do mix flour in with the fruit. But actually, I like the oozing… it looks very appetizing… have a great Christmas! diday, and good morning to you too!

    Dec 26, 2008 | 7:55 am

  5. pinoycontests says:

    Looks luscious! I’m a fan of “red food” (it doesn’t sound appetizing if I put it that way). Merry Christmas, Market Man!

    Dec 26, 2008 | 7:59 am

  6. rose says:

    Hi MM,,, since you came out with this post.. I’m became very interested with rhubarb..i havent tried this… i only come across with rhubarb in one local gameshow.my bro and family will spend new year in Bagiuo.. i will ask him to buy me this..pls give me the recipe for the pie..thanks!

    Dec 26, 2008 | 8:27 am

  7. Marketman says:

    rose, just follow the link in the post and you will find the recipe…

    Dec 26, 2008 | 8:57 am

  8. betty q. says:

    Yes, MM I like orange rhubarb compote, too !

    When I make straw-rhubarb pies, I add a touch of blitzed Minute tapioca, along with the flour too!

    If yoou are into chutneys and wouold like to try my chutney recipe…I will postit. I entered it in a local county fair when we lived up North right after I got married. We looked after a friend’s house while they were away, and she had rhubarb coming out of my ears!…didn’t want itto get tough, so i made jars and jars of these! To my amazement and to my hubby’s too, both my entries…my chili and this chutney garnered first place!!!

    If any of you guys esp. here in Vancouver, would still like ensaymada moulds, I found looooots more at my mother-in-law’s house…5 1/2 inches across the top. I think that is the size MM and Marc? uses…won’t cost you a penny! But if you would like to, just send a donation to MM’s feeding program…Like San from US, even $5.00 would provide meals for 20 kids, MM?…my e-mail:mymudcake@hotmail.com

    Dec 26, 2008 | 10:31 am

  9. Mila says:

    “Watermelon”, “peas”, and “carrots” were also replacement words used by actors in crowd scenes. Reminds me that in choir, we’d sing “watermelong” when we’d forget the words (especially when singing the national anthem :D).

    I wish I knew where all my Asterix and Obelix cartoons went, I suspect my mom gave them away when I went off to college.

    Dec 26, 2008 | 10:51 am

  10. natie says:

    looks very delicious, MM!!! will try making that–have been admiring those red stalks for a long time now…still a bit intimidated, but you make it look easy

    Dec 26, 2008 | 1:08 pm

  11. betty q. says:

    I can’t believe Natie, you haven’t tried strawberry-rhubarb pies….Haaaaay, it is a must try!….try it also with mixed berries making it a bumbleberry pie with rhubarb!

    Just want you to know mga Mrs. that the ensaymada moulds I am trying to get rid of are all brand new….never been used!

    Dec 26, 2008 | 2:00 pm

  12. Katrina says:

    I love Asterix! :-D And yes, as Mila said, in school we were also taught to mouth “watermelon” when we forgot the words.

    Dec 26, 2008 | 2:29 pm

  13. Angela says:

    Hi Betty-

    I’d be happy to take some of those ensaymada moulds off your hands :) Can’t make it to Vancouver anytime soon because of the snow, but am happy to pay for shipping. Let me know!

    Merry Christmas to all!

    P.S. How many moulds do you have? I have some friends who might be interested. How much snow did you get there? We’ve had snow for the past 9 days and have been miserably trapped at home with cabin fever. . .

    Dec 26, 2008 | 4:19 pm

  14. cumin says:

    Happy Christmas, MM and the rest of our calorific community!

    I’ve never eaten rhubarb, but your pictures look tempting. My only other ‘encounter’ with rhubarb is I read it was one of the main ingredients of an ointment I used for lu-as (Cebuano) / singaw (Tagalog) / mouth ulcer. Good to know that medicine can also be delicious! :-)

    Dec 26, 2008 | 4:34 pm

  15. Angela says:

    I’ve made strawberry rhubarb pie a couple of times. My pie crusts are horrible but the filling is incredibly delicious. I usually end up making extra filling and serving it (warm) with vanilla ice cream. Haven’t tried it on cheesecake, but it sure sounds good :)

    Dec 26, 2008 | 4:39 pm

  16. rose says:

    Thanks MM!!!! i will try this.. if i can get rhubarb …hmmm

    Dec 26, 2008 | 5:42 pm

  17. sister says:

    Use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken rhubarb pies- clear instead of pasty looking filling, tapioca is good, too, betty q is right. Don’t use too much tapica or the filling will be gummy like commercial pies. I never use flour in fruit pies.

    Dec 26, 2008 | 8:30 pm

  18. sister says:

    Dock or slit the top of your pies so steam can escape and minimize overflowing of filling.

    Dec 26, 2008 | 8:31 pm

  19. jun says:

    yummy!!! this is a sure winner for a dessert.

    Dec 27, 2008 | 3:30 am

  20. betty q. says:

    Here is the Rhubarb Chutney, Angela…Fot the times I am too lazy to go to Ikea and get the lingonberry jam for the Swedish Meatballs, I use this . In fact, my boys and my hubby much prefer this over the Lingonberry with their Meatballs; I also use this a dip for Samosas.

    This will make about 8 jars.

    4 cups rhubarb ( I use the strawberry rhubarb variety…really deep red stalks…befriend a neighbour who has them..the more you pick , the more they come!), prefrably use the slender young stalks.

    4 cups sugar
    4 cups chopped onions
    2 cups white vinegar
    1 cup currants( I don’t like them in my chutney, so I omit them)
    1 tsp. each of salt,cinnamon, ground allspice, ground cloves, cayenne pepper…for zip!

    Put evrything in a ceramic, or stainless steel pot…NO ALUMINUM! and simmer over low to medium heat stirring constantly until thickened about 1 1/2 hours. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, put in 2 to 3 tbsp. of Minute Tapioca which I put in a food processor and process until fine. Spoon into sterilized jars and process.

    Dec 27, 2008 | 9:02 am

  21. miles says:

    the rhubarb post did indeed remind me of the asterix comics series. some of our comics went mia so my husband downloaded the complete series with the compendium from the net. at least i have a back up now. :) thanks for the recipes and ideas mm will try them at frist opportunity.

    Dec 27, 2008 | 10:17 am

  22. Angela says:

    How long do I process it, Betty?

    Dec 28, 2008 | 1:20 am

  23. Maki says:

    This is the first time that I heard of rhubarb, looks good tho, is it like a vegetable or something?

    duh.. i will try asking google..

    nice potpie tho.. looks really good..

    Dec 28, 2008 | 1:46 am

  24. betty q. says:

    Hey Angela….boiling water bath in canner at least 25 minutes. Then take them out and let it cool on your counter and as soon as you hear the PLOP, PLOP, PLOP, sound, then it is sealing and that is what you want to hear. If you don’t hear that, then use that jar first for it did not seal properly and refrigerate.

    Dec 28, 2008 | 9:44 am

  25. Angela says:

    Thanks, Betty! I’ll let you know how it goes :)

    Dec 28, 2008 | 2:07 pm

  26. marissewalangkaparis says:


    Dec 29, 2008 | 2:49 pm

  27. Blaise says:

    “And on the web somewhere, in a discussion group, I read that actors on a stage often repeatedly mutter “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb” when they want to re-create the din of a crowd talking.”

    We say WATERMELON :)

    I definitely want to get a taste of this rhubarb. The dessert you created just looks really yummy!

    Jan 1, 2009 | 6:33 pm

  28. spaceplant says:

    *hello there!:) im sorry i didnt see, where do you get rhubarb in Manila please?:)*

    Jan 7, 2009 | 6:46 pm

  29. Stinelli says:

    I use rhubarb as a sampaloc substitute. It’s really nice in sinigang as it also makes the soup thick.

    Mar 2, 2009 | 9:17 am

  30. Kamille says:

    hi marketman, is rhubarb available here in manila? i saw that you had yours brought in from baguio and i tried googling where else i could find rhubarb but nothing showed up.

    May 8, 2010 | 10:00 pm

  31. Marketman says:

    Kamille, it’s not that easy to find fresh rhubarb in Manila. Sometimes, vendors who bring produce down from Baguio at the weekend markets like Salcedo, FTI, etc. have rhubarb, but its rare. I ask a suki of mine to bring it down if she finds it in Baguio or Benguet…

    May 9, 2010 | 2:42 pm


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