Monday, June 27, 2016

Rhubarb-Cassis Sauce with Homemade Crème Fraîche


Ah, rhubarb! Although not quite as fleeting in the garden as peonies, it should be enjoyed as soon as it's ready to pick and enjoyed often. I grew up eating rhubarb sauce that my mother made from her garden rhubarb patch.  I don't know of any better way to turn a vegetable into dessert. That's right, rhubarb is actually a vegetable!
This rhubarb sauce recipe was inspired by Jacques Pepin's newest cookbook Heart and Soul in the Kitchen. I love Jacques Pepin and used to enjoy watching him cook together with Julia Child on their PBS television series "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" in 1999-2000. Did you know, besides his culinary expertise, that he is also a wonderful artist?


Jacques' version of rhubarb sauce is made with honey and Creme de Cassis, which is a liqueur made from black currants.  I always have a bottle of Creme de Cassis in the refrigerator and love a half teaspoon or so in a glass of white wine or champagne in the summer (Kir and Kir Royale, respectively).  It's also delicious poured over vanilla ice cream or a dish of fruit. Great reasons to own a bottle of Creme de Cassis!

His recipe is served with a sweetened, sour cream and yogurt sauce but my version is served with my own, homemade crème fraîche. It's ridiculously easy and so, so good. It's slightly tart, but not as tart as sour cream, thick and creamy.  If you've ever shopped for crème fraîche in the store you'll know why it pays to make your own as it's quite expensive for a small container.


The past few weeks I've actually tried two different recipes for crème fraîche after seeing a few of my blogging friends recommend making your own, such as Madonna at Make Mine Lemon.  I had also done a little research and found another recipe from What's Cooking America that mentions using sour cream instead of buttermilk to thicken and activate the heavy cream used to make crème fraîche.  I liked the sour cream version slightly more the the buttermilk version and I seem to have sour cream in my home more often than buttermilk so I'm glad I tried it! 


The rhubarb sauce is delicious and I was surprised how wonderful it tasted with the homemade crème fraîche.  Try it!


In the garden, all my favorite clematis are blooming now! Betty Corning, Warsaw Nike, Perrin's Pride make a lovely corner on the fence. Ashva, Madame Julia Correvon, Piilu and Arabella are the beautiful ladies on the bottom.  Don't you love the names?

I hope you are enjoying the start of summer as much as I am! Bon appetit!

Rhubarb-Cassis Sauce

Printable Recipe

1 pound rhubarb stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup honey, or agave nectar
1/4 cup Creme de Cassis, or any sweet, fruity liqueur

Place all ingredients into a heavy saucepan and stir together over medium heat.Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, cover and reduce the heat to low.

Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, place about 1 cup of rhubarb sauce in a pretty glass serving dish and top with a generous spoonful of homemade crème fraîche. Garnish with berries or mint.

Note: I had a few fresh raspberries in the refrigerator so I added them to the chilled sauce.

Adapted from Heart and Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin

Homemade Crème Fraîche

Printable Recipe

Please note that you will have to start the crème fraîche at least 30 hours before you need to use it. It needs 24 hours to thicken to the right consistency plus 6 hours of chilling time.

8 ounces/1 cup heavy (whipping) cream (Do not use ultra pasteurized)
4 ounces/1/2 cup regular sour cream, at room temperature, or, 1 tablespoon Buttermilk
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar (optional). (Use if you prefer a slightly sweeter version for dessert use, omit for a more savory version)

Place all ingredients into a glass jar with lid and shake thoroughly to blend. Remove the lid and cover the jar with a small cloth or piece of paper toweling secured with a rubber band or twine.

Leave on the kitchen counter at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring once or twice.

After the mixture has thickened sufficiently (it will thicken faster in a warm room), stir, cover tightly and refrigerate for another 6 hours before using.

Adapted from What's Cooking America

52 comments:

  1. Such a yummy and flavorful treat! I have never grown rhubarb but I like making a veggie into a sweet dessert. Beautiful clematis filling your yard. Happy summertime!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lorraine! It's a wonderful time of year :)

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  2. stunning pics and recipe to die for,have a nice week Susan, a warm hug

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    1. You are very kind, Chiara :) Thank you, a big hug for you!

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  3. Your clematis are gorgeous! Rhubarb sauce is a favourite around here, too. I've never tried it with cassis, but it sounds delicious!

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    1. Thank you, Lorrie :) Clematis are one of my very favorite perennials and rhubarb one of my favorite garden plants too!

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  4. Okay, I did not think the crème fraîche could be improved, but now I have to try the sour cream version. I love that it is so delicate.

    Your flowers are just gorgeous.

    M.

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    1. I will buy crème fraiche again, thanks in part to you, Madonna :) Thank you!

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  5. Didn't know it's possible to make crème fraîche at home!! The rhubarb cassis sauce looks fab.! Beautiful flowers, Susan.

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    1. It really is so easy and delicious, Angie! Hope you try it. Thank you :)

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  6. Those clematis are stunning. Such beautiful colors. I'm proud to announce that I have made creme fraiche at home. The recipe instructed that it sit for two days and it was delicious. I've never been able to find that recipe again, so appreciate you posting this one.

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    1. Congratulations on making your own crème fraiche, Lea Ann! Now I'm intrigued with how a 48 hour crème fraiche would taste :)

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  7. You're way ahead of me clematis wise..Betty is blooming ..and blue angel..one jack..slower than you!

    I am going to try the sour cream one today:) Thank you..I love cassis:)

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    1. I like spreading our seasons out and enjoying yours a little later :) I hope you like the sour cream crème fraiche version, Monique. It also makes a little more because of the proportions which is a good thing :) Thank you♥

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  8. Beautiful pictures of the flowers...lovely way to celebrate summer.
    I have never thought in combining rhubarb and creme de cassis...very interesting...especially with creme fraiche...thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Have a wonderful week Susan :)

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    1. It's a wonderful, delicious combination and one that took me by surprise. Thanks so much, Juliana!

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  9. Looks wonderful and I do agree the photos are beautiful! xo Catherine

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  10. What a great looking rhubarb sauce, Liz! It looks delicious and is a must try. And thanks for the inspiration to make my own crème fraîche. The flowers are gorgeous, my fave colors and a great plant! Take care

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    1. Thank you, Pam! I hope you enjoy making creme fraiche!

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  11. Looks like your gardens are treating you well! Enjoy the rhubarb:@)

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  12. My clematis is going crazy right now, but I don't have as many as you! I made a rhubarb syrup not to long ago. Makes me want to try this now. It was so good and I used the stewed rhubarb on my yogurt at breakfast. Drooling!

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    1. Isn't it a beautiful time for clematis? Love them! The rhubarb syrup sounds wonderful, Abbe. Thank you!

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  13. What a wonderful idea for a sauce. I adore both rhubarb and casis. Bet it would also be nice with Chambord!

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    1. The Chambord is a great idea, Dom! Thanks so much!

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  14. I love all the names of the clematis, and look forward to your post each year. They are my favorite climber, and mine are going gangbusters right now. The rhubarb sounds so good!

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    1. I still blame Gardenbuddies for all of our obsessions with clematis, Debbie :) I'm so glad I have them! Thank you!

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  15. Much more glamorous than the stewed rhubarb I remember as a child. Didn't care for it much but oh did my Dad love it. Beautiful flowers as well. Hope you and your family have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

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    1. My dad loved it too, Julie :) Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend too!

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  16. Beautiful garden Susan and your casis looks so delicious! Rhubarb is non existent here, unfortunately!

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    1. I guess it likes very cold winters, Katerina. Lucky for us but you have things we can't grow either that I envy :) Thank you!

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  17. Hi Susan, wow, did not know that Jacques Pepin painted, his work is beautiful. Love the names of your flowers, so interesting. Your rhubarb dish sounds and looks delicious. Will also have to make your crème fraîche as well.

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    1. I first saw his paintings in the cookbook I where I found the idea for this recipe and I was very impressed! I hope you try the crème fraiche. I enjoyed both ways.

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  18. The sauce, the flowers, the crème fraîche, I love it all. My mom always did her rhubarb sauce with strawberries. This is such a nice variation. It's funny how easy crème fraîche is to make and yet they charge such an exorbitant price for it at the market. I love to make a big jar of it before guests come and use it for all sorts of things. I don't allow it in my everyday life :)
    p.s. I'd love to eat this sauce with crème fraîche in your beautiful yard :)

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    1. Thank you, Chris! I'd love to have you here too :) The DIY crème fraiche is certainly economical compared to store bought, isn't it!

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  19. Susan look really delicious like always!!!
    And love yours flowers !!! amazing!!
    xoxoxo

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  20. Of course, I pinned that right away on my Just Rhubarb board! Bet it would be divine with cassis...will make sure to add that the next time. The best thing is you've got an awesome company dessert, ready to go way in advance.

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    1. I know I have several of your rhubarb recipes in my Rhubarb Board too :) thanks so much, Barbara!

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  21. It's always better homemade isn't it? We don't grow rhubarb but now I'm thinking it needs to be added next year!

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  22. Looks wonderful. And extra special knowing it comes from your own garden.
    Amalia
    xo

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  23. I love this sauce - and love your memory about your mom making it too. The creme fraiche sounds fantastic too. BUT I love your clematis! These are personal favorites of mine - all your varieties are gorgeous. LOVE your beautiful gardens. Have a great weekend!

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  24. This sauce looks so amazing! I've never tried making creme fraiche at home before, will definitely have to give it a try! And your flowers are as gorgeous as always!

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  25. Now this dessert is gorgeous and I know it tastes superb and I do have creme de cassis...but those clematis. I will have to plant more. They are spectacular. I think you should have a gardening blog also Susan!

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  26. Now this dessert is gorgeous and I know it tastes superb and I do have creme de cassis...but those clematis. I will have to plant more. They are spectacular. I think you should have a gardening blog also Susan!

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  27. I don't find rhubarb in the markets here very often, but I'll keep thsi in mind if I do. I am glad you gave the recipe for Crème Fraîche as I never find that prepared here either. Your clematis are beautiful!

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  28. Haha! Yes, it is a little more fleeting than I could deal with the last two years! Too busy in the summer! I did try last year too late, and learned how woody it can be even if it looks good. This looks so beautiful and yummy!

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  29. You are so right, Susan, about rhubarb! Use it when in season or it is bitter and inedible for one more year. I wish that I lived closer to you to enjoy these similar preferences in seasonal recipes. Over a cup of tea or coffee! This is such a delicious recipe and I hope to use it next year when my rhubarb explodes in the garden again! Happy Summer! Roz

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  30. PS: Susan, I forgot to mention how beautiful your clematis are! They sadly only bloom for about 2 weeks in the Southern USA and like you, I need to add more color and variety!

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  31. What a pretty way to cook rhubarb! And I love the tip on making my own creme fraiche. Love how creative you are Susan and your gardening skills are amazing. I have always love Jacque Pepin too. He and Julia really respected each other.

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  32. Your clematis are absolutely beautiful. I haven't seen rhubarb in the markets here in Florida, must look again next season. Your creme fraiche recipe is a keeper…must look for cream that is not ultra pasteurized.

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