Rhubarb-raspberry stew with dumplings.

I have a lot of opinions lately, though Nick is quick to point out that they are not opinions as much as they are hormonal outbursts. I have evaluated the pros and cons of keeping him and at this point it seems like his potential future usefulness trumps his “helpful” suggestions so for now, he lives.

Though many of my opinions have been unsavoury and not appropriate to share under “if you don’t have anything nice to say” guidelines, at least one has been food-related and that opinion has been that rhubarb is fantastic and it ought to be mixed with vanilla bean at my earliest opportunity.

Today, just such an opportunity presented itself.

What follows is a recipe for rhubarb stew with dumplings; I used the last of my frozen raspberries to stretch the rhubarb (I thought I had more than I did), and it turned out to be the correct move. I’ve suggested one half cup of honey because I like my rhubarb tart, but taste as you go; you might like yours sweeter.

It’s not a beautiful dish – it’s the kind of thing you might serve after a weeknight family dinner, or for breakfast when you have more time in the morning. But it’s tasty. Dumplings are always tasty.

Rhubarb-raspberry stew with dumplings

(Serves four to six.)


  • 1 1/2 lbs. rhubarb
  • 1 lb. frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, combine rhubarb, raspberries, honey, vanilla bean seeds, and salt. Allow raspberries to melt, then bump heat up a notch or two and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently for about ten minutes. Rhubarb should soften and begin to break down. Return heat to medium.

Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add milk and butter to form a soft dough.

Drop spoonfuls of dough into the hot fruit mixture; you should end up with about eight dumplings. Place a lid firmly over the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve hot, with ice cream.

9 thoughts on “Rhubarb-raspberry stew with dumplings.

  1. I am dying for rhubarb. How did I get too poor to afford a fucking weed? Balls!
    But I did make that strawberry cake all the bloggies are turning out this week and it was YUMMY. don’t you dare tell anyone I said that word:)


  2. y’know, we can’t get rhubarb here. It’s too hot to grow it, and on the rare occasion it does show up, people think it’s red celery. I have very fond memories of living in Illinois as a child, and Mom growing it and making strawberry rhubarb pies. Since I like raspberries even more than strawberries, and dumplings more than pies, you have given me a brand new fantasy. I don’t know if I want to thank you or not, since it will likely be completely unfulfilled.


  3. Oh Emily … one time, the neighbour boy and I ate rhubarb leaves in the garden. Did you know they are poisonous? Our parents found out (because that stupid kid couldn’t keep a secret, and stuck his green tongue out at someone in front of his mom) so it was off to the hospital for some syrup of ipecac.

    Rhubarb tastes much better than its leaves and their aftermath.


  4. Looks fantastic!! Definitely will put on my list to make this summer. LOVE the colour of the finished dish.


  5. Marisa: I feel your pain. It’s pennies here, and even then everyone grows it so I get mine mostly for free. Is that the Martha Stewart cake? I saw that, but we don’t have strawberries yet. Also I would prefer if someone would make it for me … damn your distant location. I won’t tell about the Y-word, BTW. Hormones, right?

    Rootie: Can you get it frozen? I have seen it frozen from time to time, though admittedly not often. You could probably mimic the flavour a bit with those tart red plums!

    Eileen: I was too afraid to try the leaves, but it sounds like it wasn’t a positive. But yes. WAY better than ipecac.

    Angela: Oh, yes – do try it! So tasty. But definitely serve with ice cream. I am still pissed that I was out.


  6. So I went to get rhubarb just because of this post. And now I have to clean my kitchen enough to make some… it’s like a bomb went off in there (partially because a cake overflowed in the oven and I strewed kitchenware everywhere when I was doing disaster remediation — still need to scrub the oven.)


    1. I have the same problem! But cleaning the oven doesn’t appear to be an option because of laziness. What did you end up making?


  7. I made this! I should have trusted you on quantity — for five adults with hearty appetites I made a batch-and-a-half and it was a lot. Delectable pairing rhubarb with vanilla bean, and the berries added something. My only variation was to use the blackberries lounging in my freezer instead of getting raspberries, and I am out of honey so I used agave nectar, which I thought had an appropriately honeyed flavor anyway. This was a HUGE hit and delectable and really ended up looking sophisticated and fancy instead of as rustic as I expected. So wonderful, thank you!


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