A sweet, sophisticated spring treat.
Rhubarb often gets lumped in with strawberries when it comes to spring baking. And for good reason; strawberry rhubarb anything tastes delicious and looks beautifully pink. But rhubarb do do other things, too. One idea? Turn this special spring vegetable (yes, it’s a vegetable) into chic, sweet candied rhubarb ribbons.
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Rhubarb Basics: What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
Candied rhubarb ribbons look sophisticated, and they are, but are very simple to make. Rhubarb is actually not good raw. Rhubarb is a very tart vegetable that has almost no natural sweetness. Somewhere along the line, some genius figured out that if you cook it with sugar, rhubarb tastes amazing, with an earthy spring sweetness and a gorgeous bright pink color.
How to Make Candied Rhubarb Ribbons
To make these ribbons, use a paring knife to slice a thin strip down the length of a rhubarb stalk. Vegetable peelers do not work well; in my experience, they create too thin a strand, which becomes a tiny knot.
Make your peels as thin as possible. Rhubarb has a high moisture content. If the ribbon peels are too thick, the rhubarb will not be able to fully dry in the oven and get crispy.
The first step after peeling the rhubarb is to poach the ribbons in simple syrup. This coats them in liquid sugar.
Next, lay the rhubarb strips flat on a baking sheet and dry them in a low oven for an hour or more. Time consuming, perhaps, but no work is involved.
Finally, working one ribbon at a time — they dry quickly once out of the oven — wind them loosely around wooden skewers or utensil handles to set. Voilà!
In addition to being a fun treat all on their own, these sweet candied rhubarb ribbons make a perfect topping to shortcakes, ice cream, or any spring rhubarb dessert.
Did you make these candied rhubarb ribbons? Tell us about it.
How to Make Candied Rhubarb Ribbons
- 1 or 2 rhubarb stalks, cleaned and dry, ends removed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Make the simple syrup, combining the sugar and water in a small pot and heating until dissolved. Let the syrup cool to room temperature.
- Using a paring knife (or go ahead, try a vegetable peeler), slice long, thin strips of rhubarb from the outer stalk. Soak the ribbons in the cooled simple syrup for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F, and line or lightly grease a baking sheet. Lay each ribbon on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the ribbons have dried out. Note: They will still be sticky and flexible from the heat.
- Working one or two ribbons at a time so the remaining ribbons can stay soft in the oven, wrap each ribbon loosely around skewers or the handles of cooking utensils, and let dry for around 10 minutes before gently sliding the curled ribbons off.
5 stars for being pretty. How long would they keep d’ya think please. Thanks.
Thanks so much! They should keep in an airtight container, lined with a paper towel, at room temperature for a few days. Sugar is hydroscopic, meaning it wants to absorb moisture. The better you can keep moisture out, the longer they can last.
Ashley in TN
Fun!! A little hard for me to peel with a vegetable peeler, so I used a paring knife.
Turned out just great! Have to act fast when they come out of the oven.
What a nice way to use rhubarb! I think it’s better as a garnish than to eat, but the directions were great and I got some nice curls
Made these and they looked so pretty. I suggest pressing very hard with the vegetable peeler to get thicker/wider ribbons. Also, the first coulee of peels were very stringy, but then they got easier.
I haven’t made this but I give it 5 stars because it is so pretty. 🙂
Hah! I’ll take it. Let me know if you try it out.