This rhubarb… it just won’t stop. My own patch is becoming more impressive than I expected, but the stalks are still small and spindly (my theory is that it’s because I coddle and water it, and rhubarb thrives on neglect), but when I sigh with envy over friends’ enormous red plants with umbrella-sized leaves, I remember that the thin stalks are perfect for chopping and stirring into scones, muffins and cakes that resemble the surface of the moon. And lemon bars! Which everyone I know adores, and are made even better, if you can imagine it, with a scattering of pink rhubarb over the base before you add the filling. Double tartness! I make these with cranberries and coconut at Christmas, and it’s one of our favourite things.
Look how teeny those pieces are! The rhubarb, by the way, can be fresh or frozen – my freezer is already half full of this season’s haul. If you do use frozen rhubarb (or berries, or anything else you want to add to batter of some kind), add it frozen, don’t thaw it first – you don’t want it to release its juices before it goes into whatever it is you’re making, and if you add the juice, it will water things down. Add them straight from the freezer unless the recipe tells you otherwise.