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Archive for the ‘Rhubarb’ Category

A favourite summer cottage dessert has long been rhubarb delight.  Featuring a strawberry-rhubarb base with a cake topping, I have yet to meet a friend or family member who does not polish off this dish.  What always amazed me is how delicious this dessert tastes despite reminding me of a 50s cookbook: the secret ingredient is strawberry jello.

If your garden is overflowing with rhubarb, this is an easy recipe to provide delicious comfort food.  Rhubarb delight a la mode was a wonderful way to polish off a bbq dinner on my cottage dock!

Rhubarb Delight

(makes a 8 by 11 inch pan – about 12 good-sized servings)

Ingredients:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

3/4 cup sugar

3 ounce package of strawberry jello

1 package white cake mix (single layer)

1 cup water

1/3 cup margarine

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Place the rhubarb in a greased 8 x 11 inch pan.  Sprinkle sugar over rhubarb, followed by strawberry jello powder.  Sprinkle cake mix over jello.  Pour water over all.  Dot with margarine.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Cool and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or serve warm). Delicious served a  la mode on a lazy summer evening!

– Catherine

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Friday morning I woke up bright and early for Canada Day.  My friend Kel and I had decided to take Parliament Hill by a storm, hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince William and Kate (or should I say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?) and enjoy eclectic Canadian music.  The sun was shining brightly, the hill was packed with 300,000 eager Canadians, and we survived “polar princess pop” (Nunavut singer diva) before the royals appeared. To top it off, inspired by my recent trip to Alberta, I bought a fabulous Canada Day cowboy hat to complete my Canada Day outfit.

Kel and I decided to take a break before heading out for the evening fireworks.  Arriving home, I was parched.   A patch of my mother’s ruby rhubarb caught my eye, and before I knew it, I was craving a rhubarb drink.  My good friend Patrick had tantalized me last summer with the thought of rhubarb spritzers, but I had never tried the drink myself.

I decided to keep it simple for this first attempt, essentially making a rhubarb syrup to be lightened by sparkling water.  It was light, refreshing, and absolutely Canadian – everything I wanted for a Canada Day drink. Next time, I might even jazz it up with a little mint, orange juice, and/or gin!

For all the Canadians, happy belated Canada Day 🙂

Everything one could possibly need for a Canada Day lazy afternoon - a cold rhubarb drink, Canada Day paraphernalia, and a breezy porch.

Rhubarb Spritzer

(makes about 6 highball drinks)

Ingredients:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

4 cups water

2/3 cup liquid honey (I used Alberta clover honey)

Sparkling water

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Stew the rhubarb, water, and honey over medium heat uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and slightly reduced.  Strain the rhubarb syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl (the leftover rhubarb pulp is delicious over vanilla ice cream or yoghurt!).  Chill until cold.   Covered the syrup lasts upwards of a week.

In a highball, mix one-quarter cup of rhubarb syrup with sparkling water.  Add more syrup if you prefer a stronger rhubarb taste. Enjoy!

– Catherine

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Rhubarb Surprise

I spent the long weekend at my cottage.  Despite enthusiastic cleaning, killer mosquitoes, and threatening weather, it was truly lovely to just be at lake.

A beautiful sunset at the lake!

My mother had long been dreaming about tasting my Cousin Hilary’s famous Rhubarb Custard Meringue.  With the garden’s first picking of rhubarb, she excitedly appointed me the task of preparing the dessert.  The one minor issue was that my grandmother had forgotten the recipe in town, so improvisation it was to be!

I had never tasted this dessert before , so I dutifully listened as my mother and grandmother tried to describe the dessert: a shortbread base with a custard middle, topped with fluffy meringue.  Armed only with a 1940s version of the Good American Housekeeping Cookbook (featuring an entire chapter on jellies and calling more frequently for evaporated than fluid milk), I experimented blindly.

The dessert was surprisingly tasty – bursting with rhubarb flavour (and who doesn’t love meringueOne caveat – because the recipe is improvised, feel free to adjust the portions below to your liking! Bon appétit J

Rhubarb Surprise

(16 servings, or 12 if you really really like rhubarb)

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust:

1 cup butter (or margirine)

¾ cup icing sugar

2 cups flour

Generous pinch of salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Rhubarb Custard

6 cups chopped rhubarb

¾ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

3 cups milk

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Meringue

6 egg whites

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Shorbread Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar together.  Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Press evenly into a 9” by 13” pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly as you make the custard.

Rhubarb Custard

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Allow to mellow while you make the custard.

Scald the milk over a double boiler. Remove from the heat.  Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Pour the egg mixture in a slow stream into the milk, whisking constantly.  Return custard to heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about seven minutes.  Add the vanilla.

Pour the custard over the shorbread crust.  Spread the rhubarb mixture evenly over the custard.   Continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Meringue

Beat the egg whites and with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Continue beating, while adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time.  The resulting meringue should hold a stiff peak.

Remove the dessert from the oven and gently spread the meringue on top.  Continue cooking for another 30 minutes.  Delicious served warm!

–       Catherine

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