2 pounds rhubarb stalks
¾ cup sugar
½ cup chopped spearmint
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
5 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup minus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat the oven to
1) Wash the rhubarb and trim the tops and bottoms. Slice it into ½-inch pieces. Put it in a 9 × 13-inch baking dish and mix in the sugar and mint. Dot with the butter. Bake the rhubarb for 20 minutes or until it softens and bubbles around the edges, take it out of the oven, and stir it gently with a rubber spatula.
2) While the rhubarb is baking, make the biscuits. Put the flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and turn it on just long enough to mix the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse until the largest pieces of butter are smaller than grains of rice. Pour in the cream and pulse just until the dough gathers in clumps. Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Lightly form each piece into a shaggy disk the size of a sausage patty, about 2½ inches in diameter.
3) Arrange the biscuits on top of the hot rhubarb and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Put the dish back in the oven and bake another 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are nicely browned. Serve the cobbler warm with vanilla or strawberry ice cream or sweetened crème fraîche.
If you cook strictly with the seasons in a temperate climate, there is nothing but rhubarb for desserts between the last apples and pears of winter to the first strawberries of spring. But that’s fine with me. I love rhubarb’s bracing tartness and the way it tastes warm topped with something cold and creamy. I’m fond of flavoring rhubarb with angelica, which bursts from the soil at the same time of year, but spearmint also makes a good partner and is more likely to be in your garden. Both herbs complement rhubarb’s vegetable essence while helping it achieve its fruity aspirations.