Monday, 21 April 2014

R is for Rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of those sure signs of spring. It was always a favourite of mine, whether baked in a quick bread or baked in a pie. Anyone who has a patch of rhubarb in their garden knows it grows bigger every year, and the more you use from it, the thicker it gets. The fresh leaf stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong, tart taste.

One of my best loved cookbooks is Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook. I’ve probably had it for thirty years and so have my favourite, tried and true recipes. One of these recipes is for Rhubarb Pudding. It’s much better than just stewed rhubarb, and I always thought the difference was in boiling the water and sugar together, rather than just adding sugar to the cooked fruit.

My kids loved this, as they did the rhubarb bread. Here’s the recipe, just in time for the new crop.

Rhubarb Pudding

1 ¾ cups water
¾ cup sugar
4 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup cold water
3 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp sugar

Heat 1 ¾ cups water and ¾ cup sugar to boiling, stirring occasionally. Add rhubarb. Simmer uncovered until rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes.

Mix ¼ cup water and the cornstarch; stir into rhubarb. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in vanilla. Pour into serving bowl or dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate.

Beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in chilled bowl until stiff. Drop by spoonful onto pudding.

If you are lucky enough to have a rhubarb patch you’re probably always on the lookout for new ways to use it up. This pudding is quick and easy, so give it a try.

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