Monday, May 20, 2013

Rhubarb Cobbler

My mother had six sisters (and even more brothers) and they were all excellent cooks.  Three of those sisters lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (think Smith Mountain Lake).   My own sisters and I were always happy to hear "we're going down in the country tomorrow".  It meant we'd have good food and even better entertainment.  They were witty these three aunts.  With a great sense of timing, they would keep us laughing throughout those visits.  

Aunt Emma would have a delicious looking cake under a glass dome when we arrived.  "I've just baked this and it has to sit three days before cutting" she'd say.   She always relented, however, and great slabs of the cake would end up on dessert plates for us.  

Aunt Ruth made the best fresh ham and her vegetables were plentiful and so good.  She said that corn should not be picked until the water to cook it in was boiling!!  I once told my mother that I felt sorry for Aunt Ruth because she had to grow her own vegetables while we went to the supermarket and purchased ours already canned and/or frozen.  Mother got me straightened out right away on that matter!  

Aunt Lizzie set a "groaning board" of a table with at least two meat dishes and many bowls of perfectly prepared vegetables.  Dessert would consist of a fruit pie as well as chocolate or lemon meringue pie, a cake and a cobbler.  My favorite of her cobblers was rhubarb.  When my neighbor asked if I'd like some of that tasty stalk, I could hardly wait to pull out Aunt Lizzie's recipe.  It is one of the simplest and, in my opinion, the best.

Rhubarb Cobbler from Aunt Lizzie

4 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup of milk
2 cups of diced rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar

350 degree oven
1.  Place butter into an 8-inch round or square ovenproof dish and place in the oven until melted.  Remove.
2.  Stir the 1/4 cup of sugar into the rhubarb and set aside.
3.  Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the milk and whisk until batter is smooth.  Pour the batter into hot butter.  Do not stir.  Sprinkle the rhubarb evenly over the batter and pour any collected juice over the rhubarb.  Again, do not stir.
4.  Bake until the fruit is bubbly and the batter is browned, about 50 minutes.
5.  Serve as is or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.



  1. Oh what a fun walk down memory lane with you! I too, had an Aunt Emma! She was a wonderful lady. She is the one who crocheted. I remember holding the yarn hank for her between my small limbs as she would wind the ball. She made me many things, and I loved spending time with her! I do not, however, remember that she cooked anything? Although, I am sure she fed me when I was there! That rhubarb looks delicious!!!
    xo Kris

  2. You now have my mouth watering. I envy you growing up!!! Three loving aunts that could all cook so well, really a girl's dream! I did not have anything like this and think it must have been wonderful beyond words.

  3. all this about your aunts reminds me of the groaning tables in KY when i was growing up. daddy was a mountain preacher, after church on Sunday everyone in the church fought over who the pastor's family would go home with for dinner. being the fatty i am, the dessert tables just blew my mind. all the things you listed and even more, one of which was giant bowls of banana pudding made from scratch.

  4. Like a little book:) What nice memories you have.

  5. I love your writing! Your aunts definitely have a special place in your heart. I grew up on a farm in Ohio, so this was the way it was back then. Always lots of good food on the "groaning board." Your cobbler looks great and has me salivating!

  6. Great recipe and loved the "historic" data!

  7. Love the story about your aunts! The rhubarb cobbler looks wonderful. I hope the Baker is feeling better.

  8. I absolutely love Rhubarb --and my mother made it --like you'd make fried apples... It was so so so so good --but I think she used a gallon of sugar!!!! ha

    Your recipe looks wonderful. Amazing how many aunts and uncles you had... Bet life was NEVER dull.


  9. Bonnie, My husband is always wanting me to bake a rhubarb cobbler, now I think I have the perfect recipe. Bonnie

  10. Sounds like good eats and fun memories! This is on my menu this weekend-thanks:@)

  11. This sounds so good and so easy! I love rhubarb and try to make something with it at least once when in season. I remember my Mother had some rhubarb plants here where we now live....I'm not sure what happened to it!

  12. I grew up on rhubarb pie as my mother is a southern belle from Georgia! I never loved it but have definitely grown to like it a lot more :)

  13. I've already made two rhubarb pies in the last month or so. I've never made a cobbler though, so will be trying this one!

  14. that cobbler looks amazing! Wow, I love it. I love cobbler and grew up eating it but we always had either peach or blackberry so mixing it up and using rhubarb sounds fantastic to me

  15. Despite our cold, wet weather rhubarb has appeared in the farmers' market. There isn't anything better than a warm cobbler with a scoop of ice cream. I love those comforting memories of foods my grandmother used to make.

  16. Hi Bonnie!

    What lovely family memories you have!

    I never ate Rhubarb while I was growing up. I always found it hard to find in NYC, but now it is plentiful on the grocery shelves here and I am intrigued to try making it one day. I'm saving your aunt's recipe for that occasion--this looks delicious--thanks!

  17. This clobber look delicious Bonnie!
    Lovely memories! I have the best memories of my grand mom too my Abuelita Chela:9

  18. Love the stories of your aunts :) My mother always made rhubarb sauce and occasionally a rhubarb pie but never cobbler. I'd love to try Aunt Lizzie's cobbler recipe!

  19. Good old Aunt Lizzie! I LOVE rhubarb cobbler - this looks wonderful :)
    Mary x


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