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I’ve come to realize not everyone grew up with rhubarb at (almost) every meal. From early May through June, that’s exactly what we as a family did! And, ok, I’ll admit it: I’ve lived in a “farm life” bubble much of my life and just assume others have too. Growing up, we ate whatever was currently growing in the garden and in early spring that meant rhubarb for all desserts. And since you’re probably asking the question: yes, we were a dessert-at-most-meals type of family.
Mom often sent my sister and I to harvest her needed rhubarb from the patch. From how I remember it, my sister Kelsey would grudging oblige and I was more than willing! (Sorry Kelsey if you’re reading this and your version differs.) Once in the garden, we’d use Mom’s plethora of paring knives to cut the stalks and throw away the leaves (which are poisonous!).
Side note: Mom was never one to turn down a free gift. Pretty much all her paring knives came from local feed stores that gave out knickknacks, usually during the holidays. Add that to your roster of quasi-interesting tidbits!
Mom stuck to the desserts she knew and loved, with no complaint from me. But I’m always in the mindset to try something different. Shortcakes are not new – actually, they’re pretty well established – but what you do with them can be ever-changing. These shortcakes are really a sweet biscuit topped with a macerated blend of strawberries and rhubarb. Usually, you want to cook rhubarb, which helps soften the tartness and break down the crunchy exterior, but I live life on the edge and decided to macerate the raw rhubarb to retain some tartness and a whole lot of bite!
If you want to stay on the safe side, you can cook the rhubarb with the sugar and add the strawberries afterward. I’m won’t call you a wimp, but…
Now, if you’re like me, you like to dollop on a heavy dose of whipped cream! And honestly, whipped cream doesn’t really have that many calories so it’s pretty much like you’re eating air. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect for spring than this dessert and I can’t wait for you to try it.
Make sure to check out my favorite rhubarb recipes:
Watch how to make these strawberry rhubarb shortcakes
Strawberry & Rhubarb Shortcakes
For the fruit filling
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb
- 2 cups strawberries hulled and sliced
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp Limoncello
For the biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 8 tbsp cold butter
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the fruit filling
- Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar. Stir until the juices start to collect at the bottom of the bowl.
- Set aside in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least two hours. The rhubarb and sugar can be combined the day before, with the strawberries added one hour before serving.
- Immediately before serving, stir in the Limoncello, if desired.
For the biscuits
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Cut butter into tablespoon-size pieces and stir into the flour to coat the butter with the dry ingredients.
- Using a pastry cutter or hands, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes like coarse, wet sand. The mixture should hold together when squeezed and then crumble away.
- Separately, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
- Pour into the biscuit mixture and quickly stir with a fork.
- When the mixture begins to hold together and is very shaggy, pour onto a floured surface. Knead together until a dough is formed. Then press into a large rectangle.
- Fold the rectangle in thirds as you would a letter. Press into a 12×8-inch rectangle.
- Cut into 8 biscuits and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden, 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
- To serve, cut a biscuit in half and spoon the macerated fruit on the bottom half. Place biscuit on top and dollop with whipped cream.