rhubarb-cobbler Recipes

rhubarb cobbler

I am ashamed to admit that I have been quietly bigoted against cobblers for as long as I can remember, the dessert that is, not those dudes that save my shoes from NYC sidewalks. And like so many other baseless biases, my issues were not hinged on actually trying one, but an assumption that there could be nothing good about them. I mean, biscuits and fruit? Biscuits? Why on earth would anyone want to bake a fruit dessert with biscuits on top when they could have thick crumbles, granola-like crisps and don’t even get me started on buckles, clafoutis, grunts, slumps, pandowdys and brown bettys, drool. Biscuits are for salty butter and barbecue and fried chicken, thank you very much.

egg yolk biscuit doughbiscuit doughbiscuitsbrushed with cream, sprinkled with sugar

Well, I am glad I have gotten over my issues, and no surprise here really, it came in the form of an old recipe I found from my current dessert guru fixation, Claudia Fleming. This is the cobbler that could challenge any cobbler-biased ways, and should you already be smitten with them, do know that this might be the best darn baked fruit dessert I’ve ever baked. The biscuit-like topping is amazing — cakey but still light and crisp, flavorful and rich. The rhubarb is tart but softened by the scrape from a fresh vanilla bean and the scent when you let all of this simmer together in your new oven is perfection — and was the most delicious way to break in our new oven.

rhubarbrhubarbvanilla beansrhubarb vanilla bean filling

It’s a funny thing about rhubarb, by the way. I’d never even tried it before two years ago but now everywhere I turn, it’s rhubarb this and that. But I fell for it quickly. First of all, it’s one of the few seasonal fruits around right now, so it’s great to know a few good ways to use it. Second of all, it’s pink. Okay, fine maybe you don’t buy fruit just because it’s a pretty, pearly color but if you were going to make an exception, rhubarb is a great place to start. Finally, it’s tart but it bakes down into something soft and mellow pretty quickly, and you control how sweet it gets. Once I realized that, it became my favorite fruit to bake.

rhubarb vanilla cobbler

Rhubarb, previously: Almond Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote, Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Loaf, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Big Crumb Coffee Cake, with a rhubarb filling.

Mother’s Day Brunch? This is the first mother’s day in eons we’re not having a brunch at our place, namely because we’re (still) not fully unpacked and a certain table (yes, a table! like, just to eat on!) we ordered in April doesn’t get here for another month. But there are still many, many recipes in the archives to hopefully inspire you if you’re hosting or cooking for one of your own. This page rounds them all up. Enjoy!

One year ago: Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Two years ago: Pickled Garlicky Red Peppers

Rhubarb Cobbler
Adapted from Claudia Fleming via New York Magazine

The biscuit topping includes the curious ingredient of hard-boiled egg yolks. I’ve been trying for days to find the reason behind it’s inclusion (as I am sure someone will ask) but without my cookbooks still boxed up, my access to technique information is limited. I know that some people grind up a hard boiled yolk in their sables, to make them sandier and would argue that this makes the biscuits a little richer and cakier. Whether that’s the official rationale behind it or not, however, I don’t care — this will be the only biscuit topping I use for now on. It is perfect. I never should have doubted it.

As for the dish together, the one note I’d add is that the proportion of biscuit to fruit is actually quite high. Now I know this sounds like a dream come true for a lot of people, but should you like a little more fruit with your cake, simply double the fruit quantity below, or halve the topping.

For dough
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

For rhubarb
2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1-inch piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise, pulp scraped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat it together, incorporating any stray crumbs.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a large spoon*, form the dough into 2-inch balls, then flatten them slightly into thick rounds. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the rhubarb in a shallow 21/2- quart casserole dish and toss with sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch. Allow to macerate 15 minutes.

Arrange the biscuit rounds on top, leaving about an inch between them. Brush the biscuits with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake the cobbler until the rhubarb is bubbling and the biscuits are golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream or crème fraîche.

* I haven’t unearthed my scoops yet, but I did find some cookie cutters, so I simply patted my dough out on a floured surface and cut them instead. Besides, who doesn’t like flower-shaped biscuits?

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176 comments on rhubarb cobbler

  1. i have this recipe pinned to the side of my fridge – but i haven’t had the time to go and get my rhubarb – maybe this weekend when i’m hanging out with a friend in Long Island – we might make something with it.. maybe even this :). and if she’s missing cookie cutters/etc we’ll use a tumbler!

  2. laurie

    I always thought that I hated rhubarb. I get nervous even thinking about cooking with it. But you’re wearing me down, and I may, just may, buy some and make one of these delicious recipes.

  3. Huh – I have to admit, I’m kind of afraid of making stuff with rhubarb. Like, REALLY afraid. It’s totally infantile, I know! Plus, I never seem to see it at my grocery store. Maybe it’s just not a California thing? Anyway, maybe I’ll give it a shot! (but GF). Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I’m glad you’ve gotten over your issues too! cobbler is my absolute favorite dessert, goes well with summer and BBQ. never tried it with rhubarb though! over at Whisk, she’s baked a cobbler in a flower pot. now that I really want to try!

  5. debbie Smith

    Hi Folks ,

    Once again . I pleased to report that my my backyard rhubarb is up 4 inches . We can hardly wait for all those cobblers and crumbles. Debbie

  6. All you east coasters with your rhubarb are making me sad because I haven’t been able to find it ANYWHERE in Los Angeles. I have, however, cleaned out the Whole Foods supply of frozen rhubarb, and have discovered that it will, in fact, do in a pinch, if you, like me, are a rhubarb addict. I usually (when rhubarb is available) make an almond rhubarb crumble, but cobbler might be OK too. But a little almond extract or almond paste is a really nice complement to rhubarb. And custard is a traditional accompaniment to both rhubarb and cobbler, so you really shouldn’t hesitate to serve this with good vanilla ice cream. And I would caution people not to skip the cream brushing part or your cobbler will remain pale, which is a fate worse than death, maybe. OK, perhaps that’s a little dramatic. But it’s a fate worse than something, that’s for sure.

  7. Jen

    What timing! I was planning on a rhubarb crisp-like-dessert for this weekend and am heading to the market tomorrow to get some fruit specifically. Thanks for this recipe.

    And thanks for all you do. You make cooking a whole lot less scary for someone like me!!

  8. Daffy

    How can anyone hate rhubarb – it is the most delicious, pretty and mouth-watering fruit (yes, I know it’s a veggie really) ever. Soooo good, sooo moreish, soooo yum! Not sure about the hard boiled egg yolk though, LOL.

  9. KV

    Oh dear, this Nashvillian would take a biscuit with something sweet over something savory ANY DAY! Smother that thing in honey, jam, molasses, sorghum, whatever, and that is heaven!

  10. See, this just proves that all those “Rules” you hear about are so specific to time and place. I grew up eating cobbler in SC, and it only had a biscuit top about 20% of the time. Usually, it had a streusel top, sometimes it had a crust. All still cobbler.

    But then people will say, “Oh, no. Cobbler has X kind of crust.” and I think, “sure – for *you*!”

    I just make a fruit filling and put on whatever topping I like and that’s cobbler. Of course, I’m part of the Scared of Rhubarb Chorus (so many members!), so usually it’s blueberries or mixed berries. Yours looks divine – especially that picture of the cut up rhubarb covered in sugar.

  11. Selkie

    My mama used to cook up rhubarb in a pot with sugar until it simply fell apart into a sweet/tart lusciousness she called “sauce”. I remember being a child, pushing a spoon down onto the top of it to get a spoonful of liquid: sweet yet tart, a lovely pink color, and the very essence of it all.
    I love rhubarb to this day in all sorts of recipes (makes a great accompaniment to BBQ marinated pork tenderloin), but still make the sauce now and again to remember my now departed mama.

  12. I love cobblers; blackberry is my favorite. I grew up eating them because when peach season rolls around they’re EVERYWHERE down here in North Carolina.

    (Excited to see the N.C. wine ad above! Woo-hoo.)

  13. i’ve had cobbler a few times which was fruit and some sort of crumble on top, however i always thought it should was more of a rich crust on top, like what you are showing here.
    anyways, i got rhubarb at the farmer’s market this morning so this is a wonderful and timely inspiration, thanks you.

  14. >> and don’t even get me started on buckles, clafoutis, cobblers, grunts…

    In case this is helpful: Did you mean to include “cobblers” in that list?

    In other news: Looks beautiful as always. My husband’s a big fan of cobbler, so I’ll have to pull this recipe out next time the opportunity strikes. Also: how wacky to put hard boiled egg yolks in biscuit batter. So intriguing!

    But I’ve always loved a biscuity flavor with fruit. I grew up with Strawberry Shortcakes where the shortcakes weren’t so much cake as biscuits, and I’ve always been something of a purist on the subject. Although cake with strawberries is lovely too. Now I’m hungry. :)

  15. Porter

    Rhubarb is a vegetable. =D

    Although it is also one of my very favorite items in a pie. Strawberry-Rhubarb pie to be exact. It only works when the ingredients are fresh and ripe. I’ll admit I was spoiled as a child – since we had a garden, and grew both items… Typically both were only ready for one month out of the summer – the gating factor largely being the fresh strawberries. The rhubarb for the most part grew plentifully for the entire summer – making for an instant snack whenever I wanted it!

  16. polinium

    I don’t know if this is a formatting issue or a typo, but the flour in the recipe is showing up as ?our on my end. Also, I am absolutely addicted to rhubarb. When my parents visit in the summer I always have them bring me rhubarb and cherries from their garden.

  17. Kelly S.

    hmm, a rhubarb recipe i can try!! I’m allergic to strawberries, so getting rhubabrb anything that I don’t make myself can be difficult….

  18. Jean Marie

    Oh Deb, thank you SO much for this recipe! Our CSA box last year had rhubarb in it for weeks and I expect this year will be no different. Now, I won’t dread opening the box to find rhubarb in it yet again because I’ve got your cobbler recipe and the one for coffeecake to add to the repertoire. I love cobbler.

  19. Mmmmmm……
    We always had fresh rhubarb growing up – it was the one thing in our Ontario (Canada) garden that flourished and came back year to year. I have yet to plant any in my garden here in Calif., but this recipe is pushing me in that direction. I’m trying it this weekend – thank you!

  20. I used to be really turned off to rubarb, but recently re-discovered it and love it now!! I’ve been seeing in the grocery stores and always buy it and never do anything with it. Maybe I’ll try your recipe — it looks great!

  21. Susanna

    you are SO snobby New York with your bias against cobblers. Glad to see you’ve been converted. There is nothing like a bubbling hot peach and blueberry cobbler made from local fruit picked that day topped with a dollop of hand-churned (growing up it was goat’s milk) ice cream to make a warm summer evening in North Carolina complete. Now that I’ve been transplanted north, I will have to try it with rhubarb! Tho I will probably be unable to stray from my Aunt’s crust recipe…

  22. Delish. Nigella Lawson’s Rhubarb Meringue Pie? Fantastical. It’s so good, I have to make up words for it. And I don’t even like meringue.

  23. Anita

    Thank you Deb for this recipe! The last rhubarb creation of yours that I tried – Big Crumb Coffee cake, made with assistance from Boyfriend – was ridiculouslyunbelievablyomigod good. We still talk about it, in fact. I am trying this as soon as I possibly can – it looks amazing!

  24. basketpam

    I’m am SO glad to see that the rest of the world is finally realizing what a good thing rhubarb can be. But then, I’m one of those oddball people that grew up liking rhubarb. I guess that can be attributed to the fact that my babysitters were my great-grandparents. Not just grand, but GREAT-grandparents. Now I realize that doesn’t happen very often in life but that was my extremely fortunate lot in life. I ADORED them. Now this started back when I was 8 months old in 1962 so we’re talking about 2 people here that were actually born BEFORE 1900 and so had some very old fashioned cooking methods. I grew up learning all sorts of VERY old-fashioned recipes which one day I’ll start sharing with everyone when I get a bit more organized in life. My first introduction to ruhubarb was stewed. Now this is when you cook the stems TO DEATH and add lots and lots of sugar to it when you eat it. If you can eat rhubarb this way, you can eat it any way. So folks, get out there and visit your local farmer’s market and try some of that delicious and healthy rhubarb. This is the best bet for you city folks. Rhubarb actually isn’t one of the easiest things to grow in this world. Rhubarb is actually a perennial vegetable and can’t be started from seed. You don’t ever disturb the bed. But once you get it established, you can have it for decades. So Deb, find some more yummy rhubarb recipes and “keep on cookin!”

  25. Sam

    I was reading an old Cook’s Illustrated recently and they found that the egg yolk technique is perfect for including the necessary egginess without adding the same amount of liquid that a raw egg would.

  26. Adorable little crisp. BEAUTIFUL PICS.

    I just bought rhubarb because I was inspired to make a rhubarb pad thai (similiar to when using a tamarind). But I have yet to move it on the pad thai. I also got a gigantic bag of cherries off the street.

    I agree, the yolk is very compelling. Very curious.

  27. I am only recently warming (heh) to cobbler. I’ve always thought it was essentially wrecked pie, though that shows my regional biases for cobblers with more of a chopped up crust on top rather than biscuits. I swore up and down the kitchen at my college would just drop all the leftover pie from any given dinner, scrape it into a new pan and present as “cobbler” – it always came suspiciously soon after we had had pie involving similar fruit.

  28. This looks delicious; i love rhubarb and have it on my list to buy when at the store next. I’ve always loved cobblers- they are one of my favorite dessers!

  29. Lynn

    My grandfather loved strawberry rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream on top. The pie had to be warm for him. Every time I think of rhubarb, I think of Grandpa. Does anyone every make that kind of pie anymore?

  30. Ohiogirl

    Oh this looks GREAT! Deb, big BIG thanks to you for giving details on the proportions of filling – I’m a filling gal myself, so I’ll probably double it for true happiness. So nice to know that going in!

    BTW Kate, it’s true rhubarb is not as plentiful in Los Angeles as back east, but it CAN be found. Last year I got it fresh at Elat Market on Pico by Robertson. I’ve also seen it at Jons Markets. I’d say hit ethnic markets or produce markets – this is a time where going a bit low-rent may be your answer : )

  31. Cynthia

    Strawberry and rhubarb pie is FANTASTIC. We make it here in Northern Ontario all summer. We have both red and white rhubarb. Ever heard of those?

    Also – make a fruit punch with rhubarb juice (exclude rhubarb pieces) for a dose of lovely juice tang in your punch. Yummmmy!!!

    Deb-your rhubarb cobbler sounds delicious. We will eat anything here!!!!

  32. Hmm, rhubarb cobbler, eh?! I think my boy toy will love it! I’ve made him rhubarb galletes and a whole rhubarb pie, but I’m sure being a boy from Minnesota, he isn’t picky about the form his rhubarb is baked into. He does make a strong request that it be solo and not paired with strawberry. He says, “that’s not how grandma Tootie would make it!” So I must abide.

    And I do agree that rhubarb is hard to find and quite expensive here in Los Angeles, but it’s well worth the money to make my honey happy.

    luv,
    Heather

  33. Rhubarb jam, rhubarb pie, rhubarb sorbet (cranking to begin shortly), rhubarb bars—I love them all.

    I can’t believe how much you’re cooking with your kitchen still unpacked. On the other hand, I can. When we moved into our current house, I was pregnant with #4 and we only had a bathtub and toilet—no kitchen at all. We hosted company that first weekend. I vaguely remember making granola…

  34. I have rhubarb (and exactly two hard boiled eggs, weird) ready and waiting for this cobbly goodness.
    TIP to anyone who is overhwlemed with rhubarb in their CSA box: rhubarb freezes beautifully. Rinse, trim the ends, cut into 1″ pieces, and stick in a freezer bag. Last May, I froze a ton of rhubarb when it was in season (early May), and used the last of it for an impromptu crisp (I like rhubarb with an oat-y/whole grain pastry flour topping) all the way in early December. Delish. So no need to use it up fresh.
    :)

  35. I love fruit cobblers for weekend brunches. I mean think about it – fruit and biscuits? Served with a big dollop of thick plain or vanilla yogurt. Not quite as weird as a slice of pie for breakfast (although I think that counts too!).

  36. Bridget

    I’m from Alabama, and I must say. Biscuits? On a cobbler? I don’t know about this. Cobblers are supposed to be all butter and minimally stirring and dumping stuff in. I’ll have to try this method of cobbling though.

  37. Too funny, as I opened this post I thought to myself “Meh, cobbler… why does anyone make cobbler when they can make a crisp?… maybe smitten kitchen will finally convince me to try one.” OK, I guess you did!

  38. I love cobblers! I love the way that you stamped out the cobbler. Very nice… I will also add some strawberries to the recipe…. thank you so much for the great summer treat! Absolutely fab!

  39. Mary

    At last, a recipe for rhubarb purists! Only in the past several years have we been able to get rhubarb in our grocery stores. I have been looking for a recipe where the rhubarb is cooked without any other fruit, as I remember eating it as a child. This will do nicely, with or without the crust, and I love cobblers, too! No guilt as with pie when the first slice comes out sloppy! Yay for rhubarb!

  40. Jen

    Deb… just wanted to wish you a happy Mother’s Day. AND say congrats on the mention in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. I just pulled my issue out of the mailbox and saw “The Best Food Sites… You’ll Eat Them Up” and KNEW you’d be listed. I’ve been reading for years – keep up the good work!
    And yay for more rhubarb recipes!

  41. Vicki

    I thought your trip to the ranch would have changed your mind about biscuits!
    Ha. The recipe is great, and I’ll use it with blueberries.

    Congratulations are in order…first, the new addition, and, second, your new home.

    I love your recipes and can’t wait to see what’s new.

  42. This one I will have to try! I made your Big Crumb Rhubarb cake and that recipe is a keeper….I’m sure that this one will join it in the recipe box as well! My rhubarb is coming up quite nicely and I’m ready to bake!

  43. Candy

    Oh, yummy, yummy, yummy!!!! I have never met a piece of rhubarb that I didn’t like. I’m going to try this recipe this weekend! And if I have extra, it will get stewed up for a pancake topping!

  44. Kelly

    Could I request a post devoted to how to make single serving desserts? With a guide that tells us what desserts are good to make single servings of and then easy to freeze? My fiancee would never eat a rhubarb cobbler, I am pretty sure, and if I make it for myself I will end up sadly tossing a lot.

  45. As for the hard-boiled egg yolks, Rose Levy Beranbaum writes in “The Bread Bible” that adding them contributes a “velvety texture” and that they, along with butter, give “an extraordinary golden color and pleasing flavor” to the basic biscuit. Sounds like you agree! Her Butter Biscuits are very similar to this dough recipe, and she suggests using them to make strawberry shortcake, my favorite springtime dessert! But, perhaps I need to try this.

  46. I’m the opposite of you – I love cobbler and tend to shy away from making pies! Cobbler is just so easy and I love changing up the toppings. Your cobbler looks really tasty!

  47. MK

    Wow, one recipe post and I learned two things. I have never seen HB yolks in a baking recipe before.
    And- I thought crisps and cobblers were the same, just regional names. Now that I see that long list you named Deb, I want to find more recipes and see what I’ve been missing!

  48. Shaina

    Rhubarb is my mom’s favorite pie/cobbler filling, so I’m eternally grateful that you posted this in time for mother’s day. It looks delicious!

  49. Susan

    You’ve never had cobbler till now? Well, at least it was worth the wait. This recipe sounds like the Rolls Royce of cobbler dough, it’s so rich! I had my very first ever run in with rubarb a couple weeks ago. I made a strawberry rubarb pond, er, I mean pie. It was tasty, but there was way too much juice. The strawberries just melted into the sugar. I drained the filling into a jar to use as a sauce on ice cream and broke apart pie the crust and recrisped the chunks in the oven to dip in the sauce. Cobbler is a much better method to use for really juicy fruit because the biscuit absorbs a lot of the juice. I’ll give this one a try next time.

  50. Lin

    I don’t think we can get Rhubarb here (Singapore) !! The same way we don’t get nice strawberries, or any other berry :-(
    What else will be good??
    Deb, know of a recipe using tropical fruits??

  51. Karen

    I adore rhubarb. We always had a small patch, and one of things that sold me on the house we currently live in is that there is a large patch of established, 20-year-old rhubarb tucked along one side of the house. it’s a beautiful thing to be able to go out and harvest some rhubarb in the morning, stew it with some sugar (not too much) and vanilla, and eat it over vanilla ice cream for a mid-morning snack. Really. I share my rhubarb harvest with our neighbors, since my husband and sons don’t care for it.

  52. Laura C

    mmmmm. This looks delicious. Since I was a kid I have loved rhubarb. My mom was Canadian and her rhubarb pie was scrumptious! One other fruit that I think goes well with rhubarb is raspberries- in a pie, cobbler,crisp, or compote with Greek yogurt. Don’t waste fresh raspberries, but use the frozen ones…. the flavors are remarkable together, and the color is incredible!

  53. We love the cobblers here in Texas, but never tried the rhubarb. I’ve never even noticed it in the store. Hmmmm. But, we do use lots of peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Peach and blueberry cobbler is delicious. I wonder about the boiled egg yolk… something new to try. Thanks!

  54. Karen

    Yup, I’m there for this. My husbands adores rhubarb, but mostly all I’ve done is stew it up into a compote. Delicious, but a new rhubarb recipe sounds great.

  55. I’m a big fan of cobbler but am ashamed to say I’ve never tried rhubarb…but now you’ve piqued my interest! I’m absolutely smitten with your photographs!

  56. This sounds great! I just picked up some rhubarb from the Greenmarket and am planning to make a crisp, but this cobbler is certainly tempting. The hard-boiled egg yolk addition is certainly interesting; never heard of that technique before.

  57. Jen

    I don’t remember what cooking show I was watching, but they mentioned that hard boiled egg yolks add richness and fat to your baked goods without adding extra liquid that might lead to your dough becoming tough.

  58. This looks so cozy! I’m thinking about going for a rhubarb and golden raspberry cobbler. Heck yes! Yours looks lovely! What a dreamy way to say hello to your new oven!

  59. Laura

    Hurrah! I just got back the from the farmers market with a plump bunch of rhubarb and now I know exactly what to make with it.

  60. rhubarb! i love it, my great grandmother used to grow it…i always think of it as a throwback, old-school fruit. this cobbler looks fantastic.

  61. Oh boy this looks good! sounds like the right combo of tart and not-too-sweet. My grandmother used to make rhubarb pies all the time but I don’t think I’ve had one since hers years ago. Maybe it’s time to try my hand at this…

  62. jenny

    James Beard always used the hard-boiled egg yolk technique, and it’s also in Nancy Silverton’s strawberry-rhubarb cobbler recipe, which is the best I’ve ever eaten. Claudia Fleming’s can’t be far behind! The cooked yolk gives the biscuit a very soft texture, I think, while at the same time keeping them strong. The Nancy Silverton recipe also calls for a brown butter biscuit, made with white cornmeal, which is deeeeelicious. From Pastries from the La Brea Bakery. It’s really outstanding.

  63. lindalov

    Thanks, Deb, I may try this, just got my hands on an affordable copy of Fleming’s cookbook. Fleming’s got a tough row to hoe with me when it comes to cobblers, though. The very word cobbler conjures my Grandma. Being old as dirt myself, you can appreciate this was a long time ago when Gran made blackberry cobblers for us. We spent hours in the brambles picking wild blackberries, came home covered with thorn scratches, but all worth it when we sat down to eat Gram’s incredible blackberry cobbler. ~~ I’ve been prejudiced against most so-called “biscuit” cobblers too because the biscuits never seemed to have character or much flavor. And they sit on top like a crust! Gram’s cobbler was a deep-pot affair — we’re talking like a dutch oven or stockpot, not a pansy pie dish. I don’t recall a crust at all, just a big ole pot full of bubbling berries and thickening berry juices (and whatever else magical she added), into which she dropped generous amounts of flavorful dumpling dough in short strips. The dumplings had a medium texture somewhere between fluffy and heavy enough to hold together in the thicken berry syrup. Every dumpling was covered with rich tasty berry sauce. That’s what “cobbler” means to me ;-)))

  64. When I was growing up, we had rhubarb growing randomly in our backyard (we have no idea who planted it) and every year we’d bake rhubarb crisp and rhubarb pie and anything and everything rhubarb. I love the stuff (and am surprised at how many people don’t) but haven’t cooked with it in ages. If anything, this post reminded me to stop neglecting rhubarb. I’ve already printed this recipe out and hope to make it this weekend. Thank you!

  65. Lindie

    We had rhubarb growing in our backyard when I was growing up. Our mother would allow us to each pick a stalk and we would take a cup of sugar outside to dip the fruit into and that would be our snack while we played. Also my “Nana” made the best rhubarb sauce that we would eat every summer when we visited her. Wish I had that recipe!

  66. Colleen

    Deb! I just received this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly and Wow! Congratulations on the excellent review and A rating! When I saw the teaser on the cover, “The Best Food Sites,” I KNEW Smitten Kitchen would be among them. I’m so excited for you!

  67. Its absolutely rhubarb this and that. I’m getting it weekly in my veg + fruit box. I love it though – its tartness is welcome with all the sweet fruits and chocolates I can’t stop myself from eating…

  68. Julie in Asheville

    Growing up in the Midwest, rhubarb was a favorite, always a deep dish affair with pie crust, sometimes both top and bottom. I loved the sweet juice-soaked crust. My grandmother always made lots of jars of rhubarb-strawberry jam. (If you are a new grower of rhubarb, remember the leaves are poisonous.) Another wonderful Midwest delicacy this time of year…morel mushrooms. I could make a meal on them…dipped in egg, cracker crumbs, and fried in butter…

  69. You’ve really hit the jackpot with me. I love rhubarb cobbler and make my own gluten-free version. Unfortunately, mine doesn’t look nearly as lovely as yours. I simply use a crumble-type topping, so no beautiful floral-shaped “biscuits” on top. I’m anxiously awaiting the start of my CSA delivery and I know rhubarb will be in my early boxes. Yeah!
    Melissa
    P.S. I always love your photos — they’re brilliant!

  70. Winnie

    Makes me regret living too far south for rhubarb to grow well. I’ve tried planting several times and in the Tidewater area of Virginia it just doesn’t do. Boo! Hiss! I had great rhubarb in New Hampshire and Colorado, so must be the winters aren’t cold enough.

    Ah, well, must look forward to blackberries, , blueberries, and if I’m lucky apricots, quinces and pears, all on the little normal houselot. The cherries and one of the apricots appear to have died off in last years drought and bug attacks.

    And I was surprised to find cobbler with anything but a biscuit crust, although I’m used to it with dropped biscuits. Nothing like variety – might be fun to map out where the variations come from.

  71. ulrika

    This is a great recipe. Yummmie. I am Swedish and cant get enough of Rhubarb –
    cobbler, pie, soup, infused in vodka or just raw dipped in sugar and cinnamon!
    And thank you so much for a wonderful and inspiring blogg.

  72. Happy First Mother’s Day, Deb!
    I hope your wee one is letting you sleep, or, if your pregnancy is anything like either of mine, that your wee one is letting you be awake for a few minutes each day. (Good glory! Being pregnant knocked me out!)
    Love,
    Erica, who still thinks your peanut butter chocolate cake is the BEST. EVAH!

  73. annie

    Happy Mother’s Day, Deb! You are so blessed. Thanks for the wonderful cobbler recipe and do rest, while you can.

  74. Arbequina

    Just made this recipe with our CSA share of rhubarb. They only gave us a pound and the farmer’s market didn’t have any either, so I halved the recipe. Fiance’s response: “I want you to make this every night.” Delicious.

  75. Jeri Lynn

    MMMmm!! I just finished making this and it is SO GOOD! :-) I agree with it being a bit crust heavy and will double the fruit next time. And there will Definitely be a next time! I think I need to go get some more now. :-)

  76. This looks delicious! And I’m in the same boat here in Texas as a few of you. I never see rhubarb in the grocery store! Anyone know why this is or where to find it?

  77. rachel

    Thanks for this recipe! I was just thinking the other day about looking for a good rhubarb dessert. I saw some beautiful stalks at the store and wanted to create something yummy with them! Perfect timing :)

  78. SAS

    Don’t forget the vanilla bean ice cream on top! I made your blueberry crumb bars with rhubarb and raspberries last year, rhubarb and blueberries. Peaches and blueberries. Anyway, this recipe looks great too. As a native Minnesotan who lives with rhubarb in the wild, I’ll use any excuse to eat it in a dessert.

  79. (another) Kathryn

    That’s it, I’m going to have to succumb to the rhubarb phenomenon. I’ve always been afraid of it, but seriously, this is like the fourth or fifth recipe touting it this week.

    Seriously Deb, you need to write less enthrallingly. I may or may not have just spent an hour going through back entries that I KNOW I have read before, even though I have a final at nine a.m. Curse you and your amazing photography! =)

  80. kathleen

    My family would love this dessert. I recently spent an entire day (at work) going thru your blog, great recipes. I have already made about 3 of them. Yesterday, Mother’s Day, instead of subjecting ourselves to crowds of people and atrocious food we stayed home and cooked. I had put together your Boozy Baked French Toast the night before, really it only took about 7 minutes, then around 9 am I threw it into the oven, we cup up fruit, cooked up some thick sliced peppered bacon, and made mimosa’s. We had the best brunch ever. Thank you for some great receipes.

  81. Rebecca

    I just saw Rhubarb at the farmer’s market and really wanted to buy it but wasn’t inspired at the moment. This is perfect! I’m going to try it tonight. :)

  82. jo

    Even though I have yet to find a rhubarb here in Singapore, I still have to say that this recipe sounds delicious. No denying the fact that the pictures add to it all.

  83. Ali

    This was incredible. My friend was skeptical about the inclusion of the hard boiled egg yolks in the dough, but everything came out perfect. Thanks for posting such a wonderful recipe (with such good looking pictures). Every time I make something from one of your posts it turns out incredibly well.

  84. tom

    Rhubarb is amazing, i totally gorge on it while its in season. Pies, Cobblers, Muffins, Sauce, Hoisin-Rhubarb sauce for grilling, coffee cake, pound cake, jam, etc, etc. My rhubarb tip for cobblers, pies and sauce is to add a pinch of baking soda (too much and it the flavour goes flat), it neutralizes the acidity a bit and allows you to reduce the amount of sugar.

    Cheers

  85. I always ignore the rhubarb but I am going to try this sometime soon. The colors are so beautiful. Also, congrats on being featured in Entertainment Weekly. I wholeheartedly agree with all of the nice things they say about you.

  86. Celeste

    Rhubarb freezes great, and in fact I’ve seen frozen rhubarb at the grocery (but don’t know who supplies it). This may be an option for people who can’t find it fresh locally. Lots of people in the midwest call it “pie plant” since that’s the most common thing to do with it. You have to grow it from a bare root, sort of like a peony.

  87. I ADORE rhubarb! I grew up with it and most of my aunts and grandparents have it growing in their yards. I just recently tried your crumb cake with rhubarb recipe and it is divine! I can’t wait to try this recipe out. It looks scrumptious!
    Btw, I thought I’d just tell you that technically rhubarb is a vegetable. My girlfriends and I always joke about getting our veggies when any of us bake a rhubarb cake or pie. Keep sharing those rhubarb recipes and I will keep tryin’ em out! THANK YOU!

  88. I made this with rhubarb from our garden last night. What a wonderful way to celebrate Mother’s Day. The biscuits were amazing… I didn’t want to use all of them on the cobbler so I baked them on their own and we enjoyed them with coffee for breakfast.

  89. I want that rhubarb. I’ve been looking for it every time I go shopping because I’m dyin’ for a crumble…but a good cobbler would work too:)

  90. Tonia

    A bakery I used to work at added raspberries to their rhubarb pies and my mom always add orange juice and zest to her pies — would be good as cobbler!

  91. allison

    My mom always put hard boiled egg yolks in her sugar cookes and I’ve never tasted a better cookie. I had an abundance of rhubarb last year so I shredded it, froze it and used it all winter long. I also added it to my hot pepper jelly when I made it and it added quite a nice flavor.

  92. Julie

    In search of rhubarb. Our Farmer’s Marets started this week and I went to the local one on my lunch hour and they were sold out!! There’s another market on Thursday and I spoke to the suppliers and they said they’d be there with more rhubarb – Don’t they know it’s the “in” fruit/vegetable? Oh well I’ll try again Thursday morning bright an early. One question – I looked on your conversion page but didn’t see it – I don’t have vanilla beans (hanging my head), how much vanilla would you use instead? Thanks and I can not wait to try this recipe.

  93. ri’chele

    This is on my menu for a visit from the in-laws menu. I am a San Diego transplant looking to explore eastern yumminess. I think this will do the trick.

  94. mk

    I made this dessert this evening- it was easy to make and delicious! my only complaint is that my mouth (tongue in particular) had a numbish feeling- almost the same as eating steamed spinach. I realize the rhubarb is tart, but I felt it more when I ate the biscuit on its own. Anyone have any answers or have the same issue? Also, while I’m commenting- I would like to thank you Deb for all your gorgeous photos and recipes and all the time you put into this blog. It is indeed my favorite one out there.

  95. writeapostcard

    Just made this! It is so delicious, I scarfed down two servings in about five minutes.

    Used vanilla extract instead of a bean and I added a tsp of chopped rosemary to add a little depth to the sourness of the rhubarb. Turned out great!

  96. Lynda

    I made this the other evening and was delighted with the taste and textures. It is filed under my favorite recipes. Thank you.

    1. deb

      I loved that article. Also, the shortcake recipe almost exactly matches the biscuits in recipe — I will try them both as shortcakes, very soon.

  97. This looks delicious. I’ve always been more of a crisp fan, but a cobbler does seem fitting for rhubarb – more like one-dish shortcakes with spring/summer fruit.

  98. PaulaA

    Luckily I had some rhubarb around so as soon as I read this post, I made it. I also tossed a couple of strawberries. It was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the tip on the biscuit-to-fruit ratio. I cut the biscuit recipe in half and it was the right amount for our taste. I will be making this again for sure!

  99. Just made it and it is as wonderful (and easy!) as I suspected. I added some powdered nutmeg and ginger for spices. Next time, I will grate fresh ginger directly into the compote for more bite. The topping is so tender. Great recipe, as always.

  100. avedaa

    I think rhubarb needs a somewhat cold climate to grow in, that is, in the winter, it needs to die down and go dormant. That may be why it is not found readily in places such as Los Angeles. It tolerates a lot of cold, such as in Minnesota and New England.

  101. Dan

    Holy yummy, I just pulled this out of the oven and it smells amazing! Too bad I can’t eat it until my barbecue tonight. I’m actually hoping that some of the people don’t like rhubarb simply because I don’t think there’s enough to go around for 20+ people…

  102. Sarah Gannholm

    I think I know about the hard boiled eggs. There was an article in Cook’s last year for Sables and they used a hard boiled egg for tenderness and better texture. I wonder if it’s the same sort of thought here

  103. Dan

    …and it was awesome. Even a friend who insisted that he doesn’t like rhubarb, yet was curious to try it because it looked to damn pretty had a taste, his eyes turned wide, and immediately devoured as much as he could. “I don’t even like rhubarb!” he says, while wolfing it down.

  104. Lindsay

    Made this last night and it was very good. I’m from the South and used to pouring the batter on the bottom, putting the fruit on top, then baking and having just a portion of the dough rise to the top. So to make a biscuit top (with hard boiled eggs no less!) seemed strange and Yankee-like and wrong. But it was delicious. I will say that the rhubarb was intolerably tart without ice cream. Maybe because I used frozen? Next time I will up the sugar in the rhubarb mixture to 3/4 cup. Thanks!

  105. Julie

    I made this last night and shared with my workmates this morning… nothing says breakfast like rhubarb cobbler!! Everyone loved it and they loved the biscuits. I halved the biscuit recipe and it was perfect. Wonderful recipe. Thanks so much.

  106. Jennifer

    I made this last night and it was amazingly delicious. I didn’t have enough rhubarb so ended up using some frozen strawberries and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  107. Lisa

    This was fantastic! Made last night and quite possibly my new favorite biscuit topping. Love Rhubarb and have more than I will ever need due to binge at market.
    For me, I need to cut the tart more, so I’d add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth. But YUM.

  108. Emily

    This is so, so good. I made this last night for a dinner party and added extra rhubarb, as well as some red raspberries and strawberries. I love the biscuit recipe — it came together so easily. I prepped the biscuits early afternoon and chilled them for more than 2 hours (about 4 to 5 hours), which enabled me to serve a freshly-baked, warm cobbler for dessert. Thanks for the recipe!

  109. Hey Deb! How’s the gestating going? I remember my first (of three) pregnancies. It was golden. I loved being pregnant despite the increasing size of my butt and the blood clots in my legs. Anyway, on to the rhubarb cobbler thing.
    We loved it, loved it, LOVED IT. It was amazing – not too sweet (I have to admit, I questioned the amount of sugar but it was perfect!) and the biscuits? Oh the biscuits! Oh my, I have no words. They were heavenly. We served it with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Oh. My. Gosh.
    The only thing I’d change would be the amount of rhubarb filling. I’m going to double it next time and believe me, THERE WILL BE A NEXT TIME!
    Thanks for sharing this fabulousness.

  110. Nice recipe. With rhubarb abundantly in my garden, I’m always looking for rhubarb recipe. I just made a strawberry/rhubarb cobbler yesterday. Pretty tasty. I’m sure using rhubarb only would have been good too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  111. Well, I meant to make this exactly and then completely screwed it up, but it was still delicious. I love the use of scraped vanilla bean. If anyone would like a graham-flavored variation on this wonderful recipe, you can check out my site.

  112. Elizabeth

    I have made this twice now and to rave reviews each time!

    People who had never had rhubarb before tried it and fell in LOVE.
    I certainly know I am…

    Such a great recipe, thanks for sharing!

  113. Joey

    I made this tonight, after searching for rhubarb in LA for weeks. Finally found some at a farmer’s market. This cobbler is amazing. I wish I had bought more rhubarb so I could make it again this week. And you’re right— this biscuit recipe will now become my go-to. I can’t wait to use it for summer fruit.

  114. jlrd

    My mother used to make a rhubarb-custard pie when I was a child that I absolutely loved! Anything strawberry-rhubarb is just too sweet for me. Have you ever done anything like rhubarb-custard? Would LOVE to see it here…especially since I’m 6-months pregnant!

  115. Rebecca Wilson

    Just found your wedsite (thanks to a friend, thanks Lou) and love it. Have made soup and scones, my 14 yeard old daughter wanted to make cookies, so I lead her to your wedsite as well. You are great, so easy to follow.

    Thanks for making cooking fun again

  116. M

    Hi Deb, I’ve lurked for years, and just love, love, love many of your recipes and all of your writing. I made this once last summer and loved it so much I froze a batch of rhubarb so I could make it again in the fall/winter. 2 questions – should I just macerate the frozen rhubarb, or should I thaw it first? And 2. do you think I can make the cobbler dough the night before? Thanks so much, am making this for dinner guests Fri, along with your amazing Indian cauliflower/potato dish, which is one of my regulars. And congratulations! Jacob is gorgeous! thanks so much

    1. deb

      You can macerate it frozen, let it defrost with the sugar. It will just take longer. You can make the cobbler dough — I’d roll it out, cut it or shape it and freeze it until you’re ready to bake it.

  117. Jilly

    My mom is a HUGE rhubarb fan (it’s the only cooked “fruit” she’ll eat) and I’m so excited to make this for Mother’s Day!

  118. Thom

    I have loved Rhubarb for years. I have been looking for it for years, but never saw it in the farmer’s markets or stores.
    It’s funny that you can find it now, but the sad thing is I could never find recipes for just rhubarb. Every recipe I have found involves strawberries, nothing against strawberries, but not what I was looking for.
    I grew up with rhubarb pie, sweet and tart, makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
    So, thank you for the cobbler recipe, hopefully a pie filling recipe will come from this.

  119. spyglassweb

    Made this last night and it turned out GREAT! I was concerend that there was not enough sugar added to the fruit, but it was perfect. Unlike other rhubarb dishes, where they add so much sugar to take out all the tartness, this recipe let’s the rhubarb shine through. There is just enough so that it is not too tart. I have never been a cobbler snob, but thank you for opening my eyes to rhubarb! I think other dishes I have had are overcooked and over-sweet. Also, I like this so much better than a crisp, those tend to have too much sugar on top too. My family, and really picky kids, raved (To prepare them for the tarness, I compared it to the sweet/sour candy that they like)!! We added vanilla bean ice cream, this dish deserves good ice cream.

    I have a confession to make, I misread the recipe and used egg whites (chopped fine) instead of yolks (still turned out fine). I also did the mixing by hand. I used what I had in my kitchen, 3 tsp mexican vanilla (yum!!) instead of the bean, used half and half insead of heavy cream and unsalted irish butter. Also, I was short a little bit of rhubarb (from my patch), so I suppemented with one tart apple chopped. I like this addition, rhubarb is still the star, but apple gives a bit of variety.

    I put this in a 2 qt baking pan, instead of 2 and 1/2, and only used 8 biscuits. I really like this ratio. We just baked the rest of the biscuits (10!) on a cookie sheet and are saving them for eating with coffee or with other fruit and ice cream.

  120. Dancer who eats

    Found rhubarb at the farmers market by chance so I made this for my weekend BBQ. Amazing…. loved the soft and subtly sweet texture of the biscuit topping and rhubarb is a favorite! Saving the recipe.

  121. Beth

    I have meant to make this since last spring and finally did today. I cut the dough in half as Deb mentioned and it yielded just the right amount of cake to fruit ratio. I also used white whole wheat since it was what i had and the biscuits were delicious. i like the effect of the hard boiled egg yolk.
    I am going to use this biscuit recipe for strawberry shortcake this year.

  122. Shelly

    I made this today and added a bit of crushed anise seed as I like the flavor with rhubarb ……. love the biscuit recipe, it complements the fruit really nicely.

  123. Patty

    Hi Deb – Made this for Memorial Day. I am newer to the rhubarb game, but had some issues. The biscuits were fantastic…cut mine into cute shapes as well. The rhubarb may have been user error or the fruit itself, but it was just too darm crunchy. I do not mind a bit of firmness, but no one was clamoring to clean the baking dish out (with the exception of the biscuits). Perhaps smaller pieces would have been better. I did toss in a quart of strawberries and they made a great addition. Any rhubarb wisdom to share? Just planted a crop at home but will not be ready until 2013. Want to try your latest cake but the rhubarb holding me back.

    1. deb

      Hi Patty — It does sound like it needed more baking time. It might be oven variance or it might just benefit from being cut smaller next time, as you suggested. But, no, it shouldn’t be crunchy when its done. Rhubarb pretty much falls apart when it’s cooked, leaving no texture behind.

  124. Denise

    I was looking for your strawberry-rhubarb crumble and found this instead. About the hard-boiled yolk, I acquired a recipe while living in the Veneto for Pasta Frolla di Santa Lucia, a traditional holiday cookie in Verona. The recipe calls for hard-boiled egg yolks (and potato starch), and though even most of my Italian friends find the hard-boiled egg an unusual addition, the cookies are the most delicate, delicious shortbread-type cookies you could imagine, and absolutely fool-proof. So, here’s another vote of confidence in using hard-boiled yolks.

  125. EL

    I am surprised to learn that you had never combined biscuits with fruit before. What about strawberry shortcake? If made traditionally, it’s supposed to be made with unsweetened biscuit dough. Once you have it made that way, it’s difficult to imagine it made with sweet cake (like angel food, yech!). Made with biscuit dough, the taste of the stawberries if they are any good, is showcased perfectly. However, I’m probably a freak, as I don’t like biscuits under normal circumstances (such as with chicken, BBQ, etc.). Still, you should try strawberry shortcake made the traditional way at least once.

    1. deb

      Joy — Yes, and tomatoes and all seeded vegetables are fruit, hot peppers are berries and strawberries are something called “fleshy receptacles.” I find it easier to refer to things in the way that people use them.

  126. Julie

    I loved this! The biscuits were tender and delightful, with a little bit of crunch on top from the turbinado sugar. I was cutting the recipe in half the first time I made it, but I forgot and accidentally made the full recipe’s worth of biscuit dough, so I wrapped and froze the extra dough to use later. Today I used it for a blueberry-gooseberry cobbler and it was divine — no worse for the wear after several weeks in the freezer. I might make extra biscuit dough on purpose in the future. Thanks for a great recipe!