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One of the best tips for a rhubarb cobbler is to avoid slicing the stalks too thinly. Since cobblers are baked in the oven until they are bubbling, ingredients such as rhubarb should be cut into pieces thick enough to hold their shape or they will turn to mush. Rhubarb cobblers should also be well-flavored rather than over-sweetened to prevent the characteristic tart taste of the stalks from being lost.
Rhubarb tends to become sweeter as it cooks. Cinnamon is a great addition to rhubarb cobblers, as it adds both fragrance and sweetness. Adding sliced apples or strawberries to a rhubarb cobbler is another great way to bring out its sweetness without overdoing the sugar. In general, a good sugar ratio to experiment with when making this dessert dish is about one part to every seven parts rhubarb. Serving the cobbler topped with vanilla, or even strawberry, ice cream is yet another way to make the dessert sweeter without adding excess brown or white sugar directly to it.
A crispy top can be very appealing on a cobbler. A great tip for a crisp rhubarb cobbler top is to use whole wheat rather than all purpose flour as well as old-fashioned rolled oats and dabs of hard butter for the topping. For those who are trying to limit their saturated fat intake, but find trans fat-free margarine too soft to dab onto the topping mixture, small pieces of the butter substitute can be placed onto wax paper and then into the freezer to become more solid.
Rhubarb cobbler is considered a spring and summer dessert since the fruit-like vegetable is usually ready for picking at that time. Chopping fresh rhubarb stalks into slices and freezing these in plastic bags or covered containers allows bakers to prepare the cobbler in any season. Rhubarb cobblers are best enjoyed warm, so they do make nice fall and winter desserts. A great tip is to time the heating of the cobbler so it has time to cool slightly before being served.
As a general guideline, about five to seven rhubarb stalks is equal to 1 lb.(0.454 kg). The leaves should never be used in baking as they are toxic. Cutting the stalks into slices that are approximately 1/2-3/4 inches (1.27-1.91 cm) thick usually helps prevent the rhubarb from becoming overcooked as long as the baking time and oven temperature are moderate. It's also important to remember that the frozen vegetable usually needs less cooking time than the fresh. A tip for helping to prevent excess stringiness during the slicing, is to place the knife at a diagonal angle when cutting the rhubarb.
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