Tastes better than it looks

Maybe it’s the recent sun, maybe it’s my earlier attempts to force it, but the rhubarb at the bottom of the garden has gone into overdrive in recent weeks.

This causes slight problems, as I’m the only member of the family who has an unambiguous liking for the pink and green stuff. Most other members of the Drooling clan turn up their noses and jam their fingers down their throat at the mere mention of the glorious vegetable (yup, it’s veg, not fruit, gardening nerds).

One child did somewhat undermine his vehement opposition by inhaling a large bowl of rhubarb crumble the other day, but by and large I face an uphill struggle trying to get the tribe to eat the stuff.

This calls for imagination, hence my visit to this site, possibly the best rhubarb-recipe-related site on the net. Thinking I’d go for some sort of cookie-related recipe, I baked a tray-load of Rhubard Custard Bars.

Unfortunately this revealed the only problem with the encyclopaedic website: no photos. Had I seen a pic of the finished product I’d have known that – as you can see from the above – it doesn’t look fantastically appetising, and more importantly it looks very much like it contains rhubarb. This is a problem when seeking to outwit small children with a hatred of the stuff.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the bars were unanimously rejected. Even my youngest, who was screaming “Cake! Cake! Cake!” when I opened the oven, threw his slice on the floor when he saw what it looked like.

For the record, it tastes delicious. More specifically, it tastes just like rhubarb that has been baked in a sweet custard and popped on top of a base that is somewhere between cake and crumble. If that gets you interested then read on for the recipe below.

Rhubard custard bars


150g self-raising flour

120g sugar

60g soft butter


225g sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp flour

4 eggs beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

500g rhubarb

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Blend the flour, butter and sugar together. Press into a 9×13 inch baking pan that has been lined with baking parchment. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Prepare the filling while the crust is baking: blend the sugar and flour, then add eggs, vanilla and diced rhubarb and blend well. Pour the mixture over the partially baked crust and continue baking for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm or cooled.

Meanwhile the search goes on for a way to make rhubarb palatable for the rest of the family…

On the ipod while cooking: Scouting for Gilrs / I wish I was James Bond.  It’s probably never going to happen for me and the Strachan either.