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Baked Rhubarb Orange Glazed Donuts: soft and fluffy rhubarb donuts flavored with orange and dipped in a tangy rhubarb glaze!
I associate rhubarb with my paternal grandfather. At our house in Nova Scotia, he tended a huge garden filled with zucchini, tomatoes, peas, red and green lettuce, kale, swiss chard, carrots, herbs, fennel (duh), and rhubarb. We would get most of our produce from his abundant garden, and it always tasted amazing.
I remember picking english peas from the vines, eating one pod for every two a put in my bag. I remember zucchinis the size of eggplants and the most colorful rainbow swiss chard I’ve ever seen. I remember the electric fence he installed around the garden’s perimeter to keep out the pesky deer. And when that didn’t work, I remember he’d shoot them with his BB gun.
My grandfather never considered himself a baker, but he did consider himself an expert when it came to strawberry rhubarb pie. Every summer he’d make his pie, and we’d happily eat it with melting scoops of vanilla ice cream. I’d never seen him so passionate about baking as when he was making his strawberry rhubarb pie.
And he knew it was good, too. He was proud of it, as he should be. It had a perfect tang from the rhubarb, balanced with sweet strawberries and a slight kick of citrus. The crust was latticed and golden brown every time. It was a winner.
Though today’s recipe doesn’t have strawberries, it sure does have a lot of rhubarb. It’s cooked into the donut and whisked into the glaze. It’s a blend of earthy- and fruity-ness that is perfectly accentuated by orange zest. And don’t get me started on the color. Peenk!
Though these wouldn’t compare to my grandfather’s pie, I’d certainly hope that he’d approve of their deliciousness all the same. To rhubarb, and to grandpas!
In a small pot, heat the rhubarb, sugar, and 1/2 cup of water on medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the rhubarb has completely broken down and looks like apple sauce. If the mixture starts to get dry and stick to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon of water as necessary. Remove from heat and pulse in a blender until pureed (it should be mostly pureed, but this will get out any strings of rhubarb left). Set aside.
Make the donuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard sized donut pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of the rhubarb puree, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined. Mixture will be slightly lumpy and thick.
Spoon batter into a large ziplock bag and cut a ½ inch hole in one corner, creating a makeshift piping bag. Pipe the dough into the donut molds, filling ¾ of the way to the top of the molds. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool in fridge for 10 minutes before glazing.
To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup rhubarb puree, and whole milk in a small bowl, whisking until smooth. The consistency should be thick but still thin enough to form ribbons when you scoop it from the bowl and back down. Stir in 1-2 drops of red food coloring, depending on how pink you want your donuts.
Dip each donut into the glaze and garnish a corner with orange zest. Serve!