Rhubarb and Pistachio Rugelach

Rhubarb season, la dee da! [Insert Disney princess humming and singing with the birds!] Everything in the yard is green and happy, the chickens are laying, the cats are hunting, and the rhubarb is very bright pink!!! Let’s get down to business. With dreams of last year’s sea salt chocolate rugelach, I realized it was time for a springtime jam version! And what makes the best springtime jam? Rhubarb from the backyard, of course! And you know I love rhubarb with rosewater and pistachios, so those naturally wiggled their way in too. The result is a buttery, not-too-sweet, nutty cookie that has a hint of sourness from both cream cheese and rhubarb. It’s rustic yet a little fancy, and it’s an ode to both my Jewishness and the farm because without the rhubarb patch on the farm, I probably would have never made these. And they certainly couldn’t have been done without my mom’s perfect rugelach in my cookie genes.

That’s all! 

(And hey, if you want to switch up the jams and/or nuts, do it!!)


Rhubarb and Pistachio Rugelach

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

Dough

2 1/2 c (325g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/3 c (66g) sugar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

zest of 1/2 orange or lemon

1 c (226g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

8 oz (226g) cream cheese, straight from the fridge

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract


Filling

3/4 c (245g) rhubarb jam, homemade or store-bought

1 tb orange or lemon juice

optional: 1 tsp rosewater, or to taste

1/2 c (64g) finely chopped toasted pistachios

Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with a splash of water

Topping

a few pinches flaky salt

2 tb sugar or coarse sanding sugar

1/4 c (32g) ground toasted pistachios

Clues

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the cubed butter, distributing it all over the top of the dry ingredients, and dollop in the cream cheese (1” dollops should do it, but it doesn’t need to be perfect). Turn the mixer on low and stir until the mixture is mostly mealy and there are still some larger clumps of butter and cream cheese in tact. Continue mixing and add the yolks and vanilla and then continue mixing until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

To form the rugelach, first make the filling by combining the jam with the orange or lemon juice and rosewater, if using, and set it aside. Working with one dough disc at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking, until it is a wide rectangle, 18” by 9”. Use an offset spatula to spread on half of the jam in a thin even layer, leaving a 1” border along the long edge that’s furthest from you. Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped pistachios. Brush the 1” border with a thin layer of egg wash and then start on the end closest to you and roll the dough into a long tight log, placing it seam side down. transfer to a cutting board or baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days (depending on fridge space, you might want to cut the log in half so you’re dealing with four shorter logs as opposed to two really long ones). 

If you’re only refrigerating for a couple of hours, no need to cover the logs. If longer than that, cover with plastic wrap. 

To bake, preheat the oven to 375ºf and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. brush the logs with a thin layer of egg wash, sprinkle with a few pinches of flaky salt, a lot of pinches of sanding sugar, and a good pile of ground pistachios. Cut into 1 1/2” slices and transfer to the baking sheets, 1” apart. Bake until golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 24 minutes. (You might notice that the cookies seem to sweat and leak out some fat and jam while in the oven, this is completely normal.) Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy them warm! Leftovers can be stored at room temp for several days.


rhubarb rose jam

Happy Sunday!!! It feels weird to have my computer open on a Sunday but Cousin Elaine and I made this rhubarb rose jam yesterday that I am first-day-of-summer-camp excited about. I wanted to write it down ASAP so I wouldn’t forget it and also so that we can all have time to make it over and over before rhubarb season ends. 

It is based on Claire Ptak’s rhubarb and angelica jam from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, only I’ve swapped out angelica and added vanilla bean and rosewater. Rosewater might be my favorite friend of rhubarb and because I was making this jam as party favors for Rob and Hansaem’s very elegant wedding in Paris later this month, I figured rosewater would be the perfect addition. And the vanilla bean just kind of gives the whole thing a luxurious hug. 

The measurements below are for a very big batch (triple of Claire’s), this made enough to fill 25 cute 2-oz Weck jars, and my 5.5 quart dutch oven was the perfect size to hold everything. If you don’t have a jungle of rhubarb in your yard that you need to use up or a zillion party favors to make, you can either get your calculator out and calculate a third of these ingredients (the timings stay the same), or come over and take some of my rhubarb. 

In a good container with a tight fitting lid, this will keep in the fridge for up to a month, but of course you can also can it with sterilized jars and seals and the whole bit. Yesterday was my first time doing the latter! Cousin Elaine is the canning expert of the family, so she and I spent the afternoon sterilizing jars and dipping things into boiling water to kill the cooties. Canning always seemed intimidating to me when I read about it on paper but when Elaine walked me through the process it all made complete sense. So if you’re considering canning for the first time, my biggest recommendation would be to get yourself a Cousin Elaine.

Happing Jamming!!


Rhubarb Rose Jam

Makes enough to fill 25 cute 2-oz jars

ingredients

1,500g (3 lb 6 oz) rhubarb, chopped into small pieces

1,125g (5 1/2 cups + 2 tb) sugar

juice of 3 lemons

1 tsp rosewater

1 tb vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped

clues

In a large heavy pot, combine the rhubarb and half of the sugar. Cover and macerate at room temp for 1 hour. 

Add the remaining sugar and lemon juice to the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once it comes to a boil, let it boil rapidly over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. It might get a little spitty, so be careful and wear an apron, and if it gets too wild you can reduce the heat a little bit. It’s ready when most of the rhubarb is translucent and the consistency has thickened (it will continue to thicken as it cools). Reduce the heat to low and stir in the rosewater and vanilla bean. Carefully give it a taste to see if the rosewater is where you want it. 

Spoon into sterilized jars and seal or transfer to containers and keep in the fridge for up to a month. 


-yeh!

rhubarb cake!

It is my birthday! And also Doug’s and the eve of my Dad’s and the dawn after Stefani’s. And maybe also yours??? Happy birthday to all of us! It’s a great day to turn 29. 28 was honestly starting to feel a little stale, although it was a great year! It had a solid ratio of time spent doing things I love (making cake! traveling about! sitting on the couch with Eggboy watching tv eating dinner with my favorite spoon!) to things I don’t love (brushing my hair! cleaning the fridge!) so I’ll try to keep that going. Overall I think one big takeaway from this year was that I learned to like doing healthy things more, like drinking green juice and being up to date on my dentist visits. Kind of vanilla, right?!? My 22-year-old self would have felt so ashamed that this was my big birthday takeaway but well here it is. It’s probably just that my older wiser brain can now see further into the future and know more easily when something that feels fun at the time, like putting too much mayonnaise on my french fries, isn’t going to feel good in my belly after an hour. Which doesn’t mean I don’t do that anymore I just do it less. 

So with that I’d like to announce a temporary hold on my birthday breakfast sandwich tradition, for I will be having a green juice. And then I’ll be working out, and then getting a massage with the strongest masseuse in town, then I’m going to lunch at the museum cafe, and then I’m going to sit down with my favorite cookbooks and plan really awesome dinners for the rest of the week until dinner time when I’m going to make chèvre chaud salads for Eggboy and me. A salad! For my birthday dinner! I barely recognize myself. I’ve just been craving it soo hard since Paris (omg cannot wait to tell you about Paris) and fried cheese on a salad is my favorite form of balance. 

There will also be this rhubarb cake but not until the weekend when I defrost this sucker for some friends!! It was going to be an alpaca cake until I realized that llama has a silent “l” at the beginning and that’s way more quirky and cool than the trendy alpaca. No offense, alpacas. So this is a happy llama cake! It was inspired by this embroidered llama and I used this cookie cutter. My biggest challenge was making it not look like a baby shower cake, hence the mustard yellow frosting. 

I’m so happy that I could use some of our backyard rhubarb in this. Before it even popped up, I knew I wanted to make a pink fluffy buttery cake. Just like Stella's and Adrianna’s strawberry cakes but rhubarby. Only when I googled rhubarb cake the only things that came up were cakes with entire stalks of rhubarb in the batter or upside down cakes. So I experimented, using my sprinkle cake as a general roadmap and turning to Stella's and Adrianna’s cake as examples for incorporating fruit purée. I thought I’d have a long road of hibiscus-cake-style tweaking ahead of me since rhubarb is quite sour and anytime you change the pH of a batter you need to pay attention to the leavening amounts, but it turns out strawberry and rhubarb have extremely similar pH levels. So the first go was deeelicious! Fluffy, buttery, fruity, and bright. A handful of moisture tweaks later and here it is! It's so tasty and the sourness of the rhubarb balances the sweetness really nicely. To emphasis the rhubarb flavor, I’ve added a layer of rhubarb jam between the layers, along with buttercream. I like a basic vanilla buttercream with this but if rhubarb buttercream is speaking to you then go for it!


rhubarb cake

makes one 2-layer 8" cake

ingredients

cake:

10 oz (284g) rhubarb, chopped

1/4 c water 

1/2 c whole milk

2 3/4 c (352g) cake flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 c (225g) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c (50g) flavorless oil

1 1/2 c (300g) sugar

Red or pink food coloring, optional

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

 

assembly:

vanilla frosting (recipe here) or rhubarb frosting (recipe below)

rhubarb jam (1/4 c per layer)

sprinkles, marzipan, optional but recommended

 

clues

Preheat the oven to 350°f. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8” cake pans with parchment and set aside. 

Combine the rhubarb and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft. Let it cool and then combine with the milk in a blender and purée until very smooth.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, oil, sugar, and food coloring, if using, and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the egg whites one at a time, mixing after each, and then add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer to medium low and add the dry ingredients and rhubarb purée in three alternating additions, mixing just until incorporated. Do not over-beat. Divide the batter between the two cake pans and spread it out evenly. Give them a tap on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles and then bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make your frosting of choice! 

Stack up the layers with a thin layer of frosting and rhubarb jam in the middle. If you want to get really fancy and have more rhubarb jam distributed throughout you can slice the layers in half to make four very thin layers. To make the cake pictured, add a layer of funfetti cake in the middle.

Decorate with sprinkles and a marzipan llama. Or alpaca. Up to you.


rhubarb frosting

makes enough for one 2-layer 8" cake

ingredients

8 oz (226g) rhubarb, chopped

2 tb water

1 1/2 c (338g) unsalted butter, softened

5 c (600g) powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

1/4 tsp rosewater, optional

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3 tb heavy cream

pink food coloring, optional
 

clues

Combine the rhubarb and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft. Let it cool and then purée in a blender.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the powdered sugar gradually and mix until combined. Add the vanilla, rosewater (if using), and salt and then gradually mix in the cooled rhubarb puree. It may look curdled but continue to beat for 3-5 minutes until combined. Add the heavy cream and food coloring (if using) and beat until combined.


-yeh!

Photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

Pictured: Sweater (cuyana), Funfetti socks (old navy), cake stand (mosser glass)



P.S. Thank you, friends, soooooooooooo much for all of your sweet messages about Girl Meets Farm!! I am so darn thankful for your support and I cannot wait to show you behind the scenes pics and vids and tell you all about the process of filming. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for June 24th, 11am eastern/10am central/11am pacific!
 


rhubarb short ribs

ok show of hands, how many of you did your homework and pickled rhubarb last weekend? it's ok if you totally slacked, this short rib recipe actually tastes its best when you take the full 48 hours to make it, which, coincidentally is the minimum amount of time that you want to have your pickles go for. so get started today for a badass supper on sunday. or! spend a week mentally preparing and then go for it, just in time for father's day. cause dad's love meat!!!! and if your dad is anything like my dad he also un-ironically likes the color of rhubarb (pink).

(aside)

pops, why are you wearing a pink shirt??

pops: pink is my favorite color!

pops, why is your collar popped?

pops: it keeps my neck warm!

…was a real conversation that we had in the early 2000s, right around a time when pink popped collars were making their rounds in the preppy crowds of suburban american high schools. but pops doesn’t have an eye on trends, he’s just logical in his fashion choices and undoubtedly literally thought, “pink’s nice, warm necks are also nice, ok time to start my day!” before he cleared his entire wardrobe to make way for 70 different bernie sanders t-shirts, he had a large quantity of ahead-of-his-time millennial pink garments.

(end aside) 

so my dad likes pink! which is part of my explanation for when you ask why we're sprinkling our father's day meat with hot pink pickles. the other part is that we have shit tons of rhubarb and rhubarb with short ribs, it turns out, is the chrissy teigen and john legend of braised meat land. 

this recipe is heavily inspired by the pomegranate molasses braised lamb that i just about died over at zahav last month. they're a multi day production where you cure, braise, rest, reheat, inhale, exhale, and the only smells that really come close to as good all are freshly baked challah and santal 26. these short ribs pull sweet and sourness from a sticky rhubarb jam situation and then get some additional sweetness from their bed of onions that over time get caramelized down to almost an onion jam. the amount of flavor is a lil absurd. to the point where i had to actually pump the breaks a bit with the braising liquid by watering down my chicken stock. but paired with crispy persian rice and a bright pink sour rhubarb pickle, you basically have a perfect dinner. it's actually the dinner i had on my birthday right before eggboy’s cake!

i've done all this with bone-in and boneless short ribs. boneless was easy to pick up in town, while bone-in i had to call around about and then special order which yielded some gnarly grocery store phone holding music. i didn't necessarily find that the flavor (in this recipe at least) was sacrificed by having boneless, so i'll say that you should go with whatever route you'd like since i'm already asking a lot of you by requiring 48 hours for this thing.

the tahdig (crispy persian rice) is a great companion to this!! if you’ve never had it, there are great directions here. it’s just really delicious good rice with a crispy saffrony shell that, when all mixed up with short rib juices, adds some nice texture to the perfect bite. (i made minis in little cocottes and simply cut the cooking times down by a few minutes.) we also had these short ribs in tortillas one night with fresh herbs and a pile of pickled shredded carrots and it was mad good too. you really can’t go wrong. at all. which is what i like about short ribs. they taste so good even if you’re out of shape in the meat department and have to google dumb things like how to cut them. 


rhubarb short ribs

serves 6

ingredients

Kosher salt

1/2 c + 2 tb (125g) sugar

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp ground allspice

Black pepper

5 pounds bone-in short ribs or 4-4 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs

4 c (500g) rhubarb, chopped and divided

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 head of garlic, peeled, cloves smashed

2 tb olive oil

about 2-3 c chicken stock 

about 2-3 c water

 

for serving:

pickled rhubarb

tahdig (optional: top with crushed pistachios, chopped dates, and rose petals or ana)

clues

day one: in a small bowl combine 2 tb salt, 2 tb sugar, the fennel, allspice, and a bunch of turns of pepper. rub it all over the short ribs and place them in a big pan. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

(get your pickled rhubarb going)

make the rhubarb sauce (this can be made on day 1 or day 2): combine 2 c (250g) of the chopped rhubarb, the remaining 1/2 c (100g) sugar, and a good pinch of salt in a saucepan and heat over medium high heat, stirring often. when the rhubarb softens and collapses into a purée, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring often, until it reduces to 2/3 c (200g). this should take around 25-35 minutes. stir in the lemon juice, let cool, cover, and refrigerate until further notice.

day two: preheat the oven to 475ºf. place the onions, garlic, and remaining 2c (250g) chopped rhubarb in a roasting pan and toss with the olive oil. if you’re using the same roasting pan that you cured the short ribs in, give the pan a little rinse first to get rid of any excess salt. place the short ribs on top of the onion mixture and roast uncovered for 20 minutes, until browned. 

take it out of the oven and reduce the oven’s heat to 325ºf. pour in the rhubarb sauce and then add the stock and water until it comes halfway up on the short ribs. i do this by pouring in one cup of stock, and then one cup of water, and then another cup of stock, and another cup of water, etc., and stopping once i reach the halfway mark. (you could also just dilute your stock before pouring it in but then you run the risk of having leftover diluted stock.) cover with foil and then bake for 5-6 hours, until the meat is very soft and falls off the bone (if you're going with boneless use your imagination to imagine if they would fall off the bone or not). taste it, add more salt if you feel like it needs it. at this point you *could* give in and eat it, but it’ll be better if you let it sit over night. so let it cool, cover it, and stick it in the fridge.

(oh also on day two, you can get your tahdig rice soaking)

day three: preheat the oven to 350ºf. scrape off the layer of fat that’s accumulated on your short ribs and discard it. cover the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. 

make your tahdig. 

slice your pickled rhubarb.

slice and serve your short ribs, spooning some of the juices on top. top with pickled rhubarb (and fresh herbs for greenery if you'd like), serve with tahdig!

leftovers can be frozen! 


-yeh!