That rhubarb time of year
Given that rhubarb season is reaching its height in most parts of the hemisphere, I thought now would be the perfect time to ponder ways to prepare that peculiar pie filling ingredient that some people think is a fruit, but is actually an “uncommon vegetable.”
By the way, rhubarb’s big, green leaves are poisonous, so be sure to discard them properly.
QUICK AND EASY RHUBARB PUDDING CAKE
Arrange 3-1/2 cups of diced rhubarb on the bottom of a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup sugar. Prepare a batter from a boxed white, yellow, lemon, or spice cake mix, using one less egg than the instructions on the box suggest. Fold in 3 tablespoons of poppy seeds, 1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup sliced almonds (more or less to your liking). Pour the batter over the rhubarb. Bake according to the instructions on the box. Remove from the oven; allow to cool slightly before cutting.
RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE
1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups diced rhubarb
Roll out pastry for bottom crust, and place in a pie dish. Spoon the rhubarb into the crust. In a large bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Mix in sugar, flour, vanilla, milk, and butter or margarine. Pour mixture over rhubarb. Cover with top crust, and seal the edges. Bake at 400 F for 50 to 60 minutes or until the custard is set and a toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Serves: 6 to 8.
RHUBARB BERRY FREEZER JAM
8 cups finely chopped fresh rhubarb
3 cups white sugar
1 (21-ounce) can blueberry pie filling
1 (3-ounce package) strawberry flavored gelatin
1 (3-ounce package) raspberry flavored gelatin
Combine the rhubarb, sugar and blueberry pie filling in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 10 minutes longer. Stir in dry gelatin mix until dissolved. Transfer to sterile jars or freezer tubs, and cool. Freeze any jam you don’t intend to use right away.