This classic dessert recipe was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2018!
I really need to get something off my chest. I love the English language. I love waxing poetic and tweaking word use to convey an meaning untraditional to the original meaning.
There are some words however that I just don’t like. I don’t like to say them. I don’t like how they sound. I don’t like what they mentally conjure for me. This dislike diverts me from a freewheeling lexicon to a bit of a dead stop. I really don’t like these words in my mouth let alone coming out of it. I guess that makes me a selective ‘word prude’.
Despite the mouthwatering quality of this classic rhubarb dessert, Rhubarb Grunt, is not a name I relish saying….though I do love to eat it!
One such cringey word is in the title of this recipe. And it’s not ‘rhubarb’. I found myself swallowing the word when telling my family about the dessert I made. They looked quizzically not able to understand my answer. I’d respond with ‘it’s a rhubarb dessert’. ‘Yay, Mom, but what KIND of rhubarb dessert?’.
I finally fell on my linguistic sword and blurted out ‘it’s a Rhubarb Grunt!’ They again looked at me like I’m gone mad and simply said ‘just call it something else if you don’t like that word’ (clearly they do not share the same distaste as me).
WHAT IS RHUBARB GRUNT?
I went on to explain I COULDN’T call it something else. A grunt, like a Slump, Pandowdy, Brown Betty. Buckle, Crisp or a Cobbler is a classic Americana dessert. Changing its name would be like deciding to start calling George Washington ‘Bob’ or something. And regardless of the name, I love these desserts. They have history and roots.
This family of quinessential comfort food desserts are rustic, flavorful, simple, relaxed and SO easy to make. They are not one of those prissy desserts where you wait by the oven door HOPING they work. Or those that make you feel Martha Stewart, regardless of where she might be in the world, knows what yours looks like and she’s disappointed in you.
These Americana desserts are perfect partners with seasonal fruits, generally have 10 or fewer ingredients and all ingredients you have in your pantry (perhaps less the particular featured fruit).
WHY THIS RHUBARB DESSERT IS CALLED A ‘GRUNT’
Sort of a charming thing about grunts and slumps, if something called that can be charming, is the names are about their appearance or sounds they make when cooking.
I did not stand by the oven door to verify mine made such sounds but generally since the fruit is on the bottom mixed with sugar and butter, it bubbles up like a little mud pot to let the cooking steam out of the cakey layer on top.
Knowing that makes me a bit more comfortable calling it by name.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GRUNT AND A SLUMP
Grunts and slumps are similar and are differentiated by the geography from where they come. Grunts and slumps are generally cooked on the stove top; however, this recipe goes in the oven.
It takes about 10 minutes to prepare, depending on how quickly you slice rhubarb (might be more like 5 minutes). It emerges with a golden cakey top and perfectly cooked rhubarb underneath; not overly sweet or mushy. It really is perfection.
For those who have not really cooked with rhubarb, thought it only can be combined with strawberries or think it will be too tart, fear not.
Rhubarb does have a unique tang like no other fruit or vegetable but that is tamed in this recipe. It showcases beautifully all on its own; it does not need berries; it shines in this recipe.
For me finding new season produce waiting in the store is like running into a long lost friend. I’m always delighted at my first finding. With rhubarb showing up I couldn’t wait to snatch some up before it oh-so-quickly disappears.
This Rhubarb Grunt is a wonderful, easy rhubarb dessert recipe to celebrate its spring arrival!
More Easy Rhubarb Recipes You’ll Love:
- The Rhubarb Pie Cocktail
- Brined Boneless Pork Loin Roast with Rhubarb-Cherry Port Sauce
- Rhubarb Crunch
- Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
If you’ve tried this Rhubarb Grunt recipe or any other recipe on BoulderLocavore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
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Rhubarb Grunt: A Classic Americana Rhubarb Dessert
- 1 pound Rhubarb , trimmed and cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 cups plus ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 4 ounces Unsalted Butter , sliced into tablespoons and then cut into fourths
- 1 cup Baking Mix (I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix)
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish. Line the bottom evenly with the rhubarb slices.
- Sprinkle the rhubarb evenly with 1 cup of the sugar. Evenly distribute the butter on top of the sugar.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, ¼ cup sugar, and salt. Whisk to blend completely.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to the mixing bowl and stir to combine (the mixture will be sticky). Spoon the mixture on top of the sugar and butter in the baking dish. Tip: spraying a silicon spatula with non-stick cooking spray before spooning and spreading the flour mixture helps with the sticking.
- Cook until the topping turns golden and the fruit is soft and seeping through the top (approximately 40 minutes). Scoop onto plates to serve; a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream may be added if desired.
Karen Juregens says
5/2022 — post pandemic– we all sure as ‘heck’ hope it is post pandemic for crying out loud. I have been looking for rhubarb for 2 months — yeah ok – been a cold spring but – still 6 locations act like they have never heard of rhubarb. whiskey tango foxtrot. Finally found some today and made this recipe. (I have only previously made rhubarb pie with wheat flour === which is no longer edible for me post 2013.) Holy Cow— This is AWESOME!. I used Pamela’s for the baking mix. and was heavy on everything pretty much — esp sugar. JUST MAKE IT if you can find the Rhubarb! So So Delicious. I cannot thank you enough for this recipe — it is like I am able to have a rhubarb pie with one crust — without having to go through the rigamarol of doing a BRM GF two crust pie. wow just wow. ty again..
Toni Dash says
So glad you liked it Karen! We also have a rhubarb crisp recipe and a great rhubarb cocktail….and Rhubarb Fool for more ideas (easier than pie)!
I love this kind of dessert. I wonder if it would work using almond and/or coconut flour for a keto version?
Toni Dash says
If you try it let me know how it turns out!
Quilter Kathy says
Does anyone know many rhubarb stalks are needed to make this recipe?
It says 1 pound of rhubarb, but I need to know how many stalks or how many cups of chopped rhubarb.
Toni Dash says
Hi Kathy. 1 pound of rhubarb is equal to about 4 cups. Hope that helps!
I was looking forward to making this cake, but was disappointed when reading the ingredients to find that I needed baking mix. As I have no idea what this is, I can not make this wonderful sounding cake. So disappointed.
Toni Dash says
No need to be sad! Baking mix is very common and available. It’s a mix of flour and other ingredients intended for easy baking. I listed the gluten-free type I used. Bisquick is probably the most popular regular baking mix.
Veronica Lee says
I’ve never tried rhubarb. They don’t grow over here on our side of the pond. Your Rhubarb Grunt looks amazing!
Judy Thomas says
OMG! That looks absolutely delicious! I love rhubarb, we always had it growing in the garden and Mum would bake us Rhubarb crumble or a Rhubarb Sponge. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.
This sounds incredible!
Patrick Harrington says
Grunt, grunt, grunt………
Toni Dash says
LaLaLaLa I can’t hear YOU!
Chei Pangan says
Oh this looks yummy but not so familiar with Rhubarb. I think I must check on this one.