Strawberry and pickled rhubarb shortcake

IMG_1366This is an American classic gone rogue.

California strawberries are so good right now and our visit to Jean Georges inspired my pickled rhubarb experiment (my secret: Lambrusco vinegar).

What’s French about this you may ask? The sneaky assembly of something that looks like a fancy dessert,  the lack of overwhelming sweetness, and the sablé butter biscuits, of course!

Strawberry and pickled rhubarb shortcake

You’ll need:

for the pickles (this is easily doubled etc.):

  • 2 large rhubarb stalks
  • 1 cup Lambrusco vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t mustard seeds
  • 1/4 t whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 t whole cloves
  • 1/4 t coriander seeds

for the shortcake(s):

  • fresh strawberries, cut into quarters
  • pickled rhubarb, chopped
  • Greek yogurt
  • balsamic glaze
  • raw sugar
  • sablé butter biscuits

1. Pickle rhubarb at least 24 hours in advance (but use the full 48 hours, if you can).

2. Cut rhubarb stalks to fit inside whatever jar you’re using. Add seeds and spices to the jar, as well. Bring the water, sugar, vinegar, and salt mixture to a boil, then pour over the rhubarb making sure it’s covered (but leave some “head room” at the top of the jar). Cover, let cool, and refrigerate.

3. Before serving, macerate the strawberries with a little bit of balsamic glaze and a few teaspoons of raw sugar.IMG_1368

4. To assemble, top one biscuit with greek yogurt, then add strawberries and rhubarb. Add another biscuit on top.

Tip: Let the assembled shortcakes stand in the fridge for about an hour. This allows the yogurt to soften the bottom biscuit a little bit. IMG_1376Serve with a pretty cup of tea.IMG_1369


  1. Bloody marvellous….the pickled rhubarb is such a good idea…excellent.

    • saffronandhoney saffronandhoney says:

      Thanks, Roger! I’m thinking of using the rest of the pickled rhubarb in a pork roast later this week – will let you know how that goes.

  2. Oh this is lovely, Ksenia. We are now getting great local rhubarb and strawberries, and this sounds like such a lovely combination: not too sweet, not too heavy. And so elegant.

    • saffronandhoney saffronandhoney says:

      Thank you some much, Darya! I am very excited about the local rhubarb as well. This is quite light so I think I’ll probably make some variations on the theme throughout the summer (maybe with ice cream?!)

  3. Abaolutely lovely.

  4. This is a gorgeous recipe Ksenia!! I’ve never thought of pickling rhubarb but it’s a fabulous idea, I love the concept of the sweet, fragrant and tart together… particularly with those gorgeous sable biscuits (yum). Very elegant, refined and beautiful – I definitely want to try this xxx

    • saffronandhoney saffronandhoney says:

      Thanks so much, Laura! I’d never really thought of pickling it either, but it turned out to be a great way to coax out new rhubarb flavors. xx

  5. Gone rogue? I LOVE THAT 😀
    And prefer it rebellious anyway, this looks so delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. You do such great things with rhubarb. Very cool and unique recipe.

  7. How amazing do these dainty shortbreads look and the Lambrusco vinegar also sounds heavenly. I heart that platter, no doubt some beautiful relic found in a vintage flea market in some leafy Parisian street!

    • saffronandhoney saffronandhoney says:

      Haha they were actually a gift from my grandmother:) but I’m glad that the overall presentation was so evocative! x

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