Rhubarb season is in full swing, and the deliciously bitter stalk is a must-have in many of my baked goods. But with its bold colors and slender structure, it’s also a great contender for a garnish. Save a stalk the next time you make rhubarb pie, and you can easily turn it into an unexpected and beautiful tuile-like garnish. One stalk of rhubarb can easily make eight to ten garnishes. First, trim and wash your rhubarb, then use a vegetable peeler to create long and thin strips.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Soak the rhubarb strips in simple syrup for about five minutes. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure the rhubarb strips aren’t overlapping each other. Bake until almost all the liquid is evaporated and the rhubarb starts to look crisp, about one hour.
Remove from oven, then carefully shape into spirals, circles, or whatever you fancy. For thin spirals, try wrapping the rhubarb around the handle of a wooden spoon. Or for thicker spirals, I used the tapered end of a rolling pin. The rhubarb will harden and maintain the shape as it cools. It should only take about 10 minutes for it to harden.
If your rhubarb doesn’t seem to keep its shape (you will know, it will flop right over), it simply means it’s not dehydrated enough! Just return to the oven for a few minutes longer or until it’s ready.
The finished rhubarb spirals can be used as garnish on many baked goods.
This article was first published on the MarthaStewart.com Network on June, 11 2015.
Photos: Steven Karl Metzer