Strawberry Rhubarb Terrine

Molded strawberry rhubarb dessert terrine, with fresh strawberries, rhubarb, lemon juice, and orange zest.

  • Yield: Serves 8 to 12.


  • 1 lb rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2-inch segments (if rhubarb stalks are large and stringy, peel first)
  • 3 cups water, divided into 2 cups and 1 cup
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • Grated zest from one orange
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 quarter-ounce packets of plain, unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 5x9 loaf pans


1 Bring 2 cups of water, the orange zest, and the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice and rhubarb pieces. Bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 4 minutes, until rhubarb is just tender, but not disintegrating. Remove the pan from the heat.

2 While the rhubarb is simmering, put 1 cup of cold water in a small bowl. Pour the gelatin from the packets over the water. Stir to make sure all of the gelatin powder is wet. Let soften for about a minute.

3 Put the gelatin water into the rhubarb sugar mixture. Slowly stir so as not to break up the rhubarb, but to make sure the softened gelatin is completely dissolved.

4 Pour mixture into two loaf pans, evenly divided, or one large casserole dish. Add the strawberries to the pans, gently distributing them among the rhubarb pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 6 hours, or overnight, until firm.

5 To unmold, fill a large bowl or basin with very warm water. Dip the bottom of one of the loaf pans into the water and count ten seconds. Remove from the water and run a blunt knife along the edges of the pan to break the suction. Place a serving platter upside down over the pan and gently turn the pan over. You might need to give it a little tap to release the terrine from the mold. If it's stubborn, place it back in the warm water for a few more seconds.

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  • nicole

    Would this work with Agar Agar instead of Gelatin? The last time I used gelatin I ended up not being able to eat it because during cooking it smelled really bad to me, but that was back when I was still a vegetarian, so maybe my sense of smell has changed. I’d still prefer to use Agar Agar… Maybe I should try with a small amount and use a ramekin as a mold to see if it’ll set.

    You could try it. I’ve never cooked with agar agar, so I wouldn’t know what to tell you. If you do try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Josie Mattheis

    I was looking for a great recipe for the 4th of July and considered adding blueberries to it? Any suggestions?

    We usually make our berry and banana terrine with blueberries, works great. ~Elise

  • Elizabeth

    This was terrific tasting!! The only problem I ran into is that mine got somewhat pale. I didn’t have the lemon (ill prepared I’d say!) and so just left it out. Does that help it hold the color?

    Don’t know about the lemon helping it hold the color. It might. You also might want to let the rhubarb syrup gelatin base cool just a little more before pouring into the molds and adding the strawberries. The strawberries should taste fresh, not cooked, and should retain their bright color. ~Elise

  • Garrett

    This really was a phenomenal dish, Elise!

  • Sarah

    Ibteda- Rhubarb is a very tart and zesty tasting plant that looks like celery but is red with much stronger stalks and larger leaves. It is tough and stringy, but once boiled with a little sugar is a true delight. This reminds me of making pie (a traditional way to use rhubarb) with my mom using rhubarb from her garden :).

  • ibteda

    I have no idea what rhubab is. The only place I’ve seen it is online. It isnt available at markets here in Pakistan. And all these recipies on so many foodblogs have been making me so curious about the taste. :(

  • Nancy

    This does look gorgeous, but — may I quibble? Strawberries are so sour they are not worth buying in my opinion. (I’m surprised the recipe only calls for 3/4 cup sugar.) Has anyone really tasted a truly sweet strawberry? Farmer’s market perhaps? I’m just curious. To me, only the semi-sweet-bitterness of a chocolate dip makes them palatable. Just weighing in.

    The strawberries we’ve been getting at the market and at fruit stands are wonderfully sweet. I think it depends on where you are and what part of the season it is. If your strawberries are still tart then you will likely need to add more sugar to any recipe that calls for them, including this one. ~Elise

  • Maureen

    Still totally hooked on this concept and will continue to tweek (being driven by the mantra: no sugar if possible…!) Thanks to Lexan for the encouragement, the 1/4 cup agave nectar was ok… what I didn’t anticipate that it was the gelatin which needs the flavor and 1/4 cup was on the bland side. Next batch I’m going to use Stevia and will report back… Its a beautiful dish!

    If I were to reduce the sugar in this recipe, I would not use rhubarb which desperately needs the sugar to overcome its tartness. Instead I would make sure the strawberries I was using were very sweet, and I would add another sweet fruit like bananas or raspberries. You might also look at our banana and berry terrine which uses white grape juice as a base. ~Elise

  • giz

    What an absolutely gorgeous terrine. I went out today looking for rhubarb – couldn’t find anything but frozen – do you think it would work with frozen? I love it.

    I think frozen would work fine, though I say that without out any experience in cooking with frozen rhubarb. If you try it, please let us know how it works for you. ~Elise

  • xxxmcrxxx

    Lovely, I am wondering what I can sub for the strawberries since I am allergic to them (other kinds of berries are ok).

    Raspberries would be terrific in this. ~Elise

  • lexan

    I have made something similar, using a muffin tin to make individual portions. Look forward to trying this. To Maureen, I reduce the sugar as far as I can get away with, as I love the tart edge that rhubarb has, tasting as I go to make sure I don’t cross over into inedible. Having never used agave with gelatin, I don’t know how it will fly, but give it a shot and let us know, please!

  • Maureen

    I love these flavors and enjoy rhubarb’s natural tartness (often boiling it with some water and ginger with no sugar or sweetener). I might try this with 1/4 cup agave nectar… has anyone had any luck eliminating sugar in rhubarb/strawberry recipes?