Huff – an Oddly Named But Delightful Rhubarb Dish

I’ve made Huff twice now, once last summer, when I didn’t bother to strain the pulp out of the rhubarb before making it (it just seemed wasteful) and again today, this time taking the time to strain it.  And I have to say, straining makes all the difference.


The first time I made it for a family dinner, and it was an icky brownish pink mound, and a bit stringy.  Strained, it becomes a delicate, shimmering pink jewel with a much nicer texture.  This is a dessert that will definitely make it into my regular rotation, but a word to the wise…. I think 4 tbsp of gelatin would be excessive.  I used 2 this time, and will likely use only 1 next time.

The colour is entirely natural.

I was unsure just how much rhubarb they meant by a bundle, so I just picked a handful, and after it was cooked down and strained, I had one cup of juice.  I sweetened according to their directions, and it seems about right.  Sweet enough, but still pleasantly tart.

I keep several big rhubarb plants mixed into my perennial flower beds, so I always have lots.  I will be making this dessert again soon!  Since it seems like a waste to throw out the pulp, I plan to add it to my next batch of rhubarb jam.

Below is the recipe.


  • 1 bundle rhubarb
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoonfuls powdered gelatine
  • 6 ozs. (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 1/2 gills (3/4 cup) water
  • Custard or whipped cream

Stew the rhubarb and sugar together until quite soft and rub through a sieve; add the strained lemon juice and return to the fire.  When hot, stir in the gelatine, which has been mixed with the cold water, and thoroughly dissolve it.  Pour it into a wet mold, and, when cold, turn out.  Serve with custard or whipped cream.  Huff is an excellent sweet for the spring and summer months.

The hot custard melted it slightly, but it was delicious!

The book from which this recipe comes is called The Something-Different Dish; Odd in Name, But Good To Try When You Want to Have a Change.  It was written by Marion Harris Neil and published in 1915.  It’s full of odd, and oddly named recipes, including Wiggle, Singing Hinnies, and Spread Eagle.  It’s got a lot of interesting sounding recipes that I look forward to trying.




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