Baked Rhubarb with Orange

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, May 2, 1913: My thoughts this evening are hardly worth writing about.

rhubarb with orange

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—There must have been something worth writing a hundred years ago today. Did you ever try the menus that were published in Good Housekeeping magazine?


One of the foods listed on the May 3, 1913 menu is Baked Rhubarb with Orange.  .

Baked Rhubarb with Orange

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

5 cups Rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces

3 oranges

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl combine the sugar, mace, cloves, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Wash the oranges, and pare off the peel thinly; coarsely chop and then set aside. Remove white inner skin and seeds from oranges and halve. Cut halved oranges into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, orange pieces, chopped orange peel, and sugar mixture.  Put into a 2-quart baking dish.

Bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly—and the rhubarb is tender.

Serve hot or cold.

Adapted from recipe in Good Housekeeping (May, 1913)

This dish is excellent. The orange peel and spices nicely balance the tartness of the rhubarb.

According to the old Good Housekeeping magazine:

Rhubarb thus prepared keeps well, and is good morning, noon, and night. As a breakfast relish, nothing is finer than a very tiny saucer of it.

Previous posts with other rhubarb recipes include:

Stewed Rhubarb (Rhubarb Sauce)

Rhubarb Sponge Pie

Rhubarb Pudding

24 thoughts on “Baked Rhubarb with Orange

    1. I really liked the recipe. Refreshing is the perfect word to describe this recipe. The spices and orange peel give the rhubarb a really nice, lively flavor.

    1. It is very different from what you’d see today! It’s really focused on seasonally available foods–including early spring produce (rhubarb, radishes, dandelion) and vegetables that might have been stored over the winter months (potatoes, onions).

    1. I also never thought of adding oranges–today we tend to instead use strawberries– to rhubarb, but the two fruits work well together.

  1. My dad’s birthday was mid-April, and rhubarb pie was his “birthday cake” every year, for that’s when the rhubarb was ready to eat. We never had it with oranges or any other fruit, but I’m sure there was a lot of sugar in the recipe! What great resources you have found for menus and life at that time.

    1. I learned something new. Until I read your comment I hadn’t known that rhubarb works particularly well with artificial sweetners. I’ll have to try it.

  2. Poor Helena, I think she underestimated the worth of her thoughts all those years ago. Perhaps she would have written more in her diary, had she known you would be starting this blog, 100 years later! 😉

    I love the flavours of both rhubarb and orange, this sounds delicious Sheryl. 🙂

    1. I wish that she somehow could have known that someone would be reading the diary many years later and added more detail; then I remind myself that the diary probably would have lost her natural “voice” that I so love if she’d realized that someone would be looking over her shoulder someday. 🙂

  3. The luncheon menu sounds just right to me. I love any kind of potatoes. This dish sounds a little like something that would make a good brunch, too. Somehow I think I’d find fish hash more approachable in the afternoon. I enjoyed this look into the meals of long ago.

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