rhubarb foster photo by jonathan gayman

Recipe: Rhubarb Foster


I confess, I was going to do a traditional bananas Foster recipe, but then I saw the produce man unloading stalk after stalk of ruby red rhubarb. I was certain at that moment I could Foster the heck out of it! Rhubarb is only around for a bit, so get it while you can. It’s tart, sassy and tough, but it cooks down to a lovely soft goo that desperately wants to be with vanilla ice cream.


Please be very careful when you flambé. Keep the skillet lid close by in case things go sideways, and you need to cover the pan to douse the flame. Abide by my kitchen's three rules: respect knives, respect fire and respect me. All three can make your life wonderful or miserable.


Rhubarb Foster
4 servings


¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
½ oz dark rum*
½ cup. crushed gingersnaps, plus 4 whole cookies for garnish
1 pint vanilla ice cream


• In a stainless-steel skillet (do not use nonstick), melt the butter and sugar together over medium heat. Add the rhubarb, orange juice and zest and saute 3 to 5 minutes until tender.


• Remove the pan from heat, add the rum and carefully ignite the alcohol using a long match. Use a long-handled spoon to baste the rhubarb with the liquid until the flame burns out. Set aside. 


• Divide the crushed gingersnaps between 4 bowls, top with 1 scoop ice cream and drizzle each with the rhubarb sauce. Garnish with a whole cookie.


*Gild the lily and mix ¼ ounce Big O Ginger Liqueur with ¼ ounce white or dark rum in lieu of the dark rum for an extra ginger punch.


Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

Tags : Recipes