Rhubarb ready!!

 

 

Rhubarb – fruit or vegetable?

The Rhubarb is looking good here in the Midwest! We do need a little bit more sun and some warmer temps. (It was 40 degrees this morning with snow showers…but is only April 27th…haha)

Some Rhubarb tips:

If your rhubarb was frozen during our recent Midwestern cold snap, you may want to cut it back and wait for healthier regrowth. The potential health risk that is in the leaves and roots of rhubarb and can be forced into the normally edible stem by severe cold. Read more HERE.

There are many ways to enjoy the stems, but don’t eat the leaves or the roots. Rhubarb is also called “pie-plant,” because the chopped stalks are often cooked, sweetened, and used as a pie filling, often with strawberries or apples. It can also be incorporated into breads and cakes, sweetened and used as a sauce, or cooked with sugar and strained for a refreshing juice.  While juicy and crisp, it is very sour. Different varieties have varying levels of sourness and fibrousness, and they also vary in color from almost pure green to almost pure red.  For more information and tips on growing rhubarb in YOUR garden, here is more from the University of Minnesota. Click HERE.

 

Get out those great rhubarb dessert recipes that you tucked away for the winter and get ready to enjoy this tart and sweetened vegetable!Rhubarb is one of our first favorite spring fruits (really a vegetable) ready that entices us to bake that favorite rhubarb dessert. Looking at those large green leaves by the garden makes your mouth water for that favorite dessert. Our favorite is the Rhubarb Meringue Dessert – a tender shortbread crust with a custard style filling combined with chopped rhubarb with a hint of orange zest. Of course we top it with a meringue….mmmm it is heaven! You will want to invite friends in for this or you will eat the whole pan! (It can happen!)

 

 

Rhubarb Meringue Dessert recipe!

1 Package Sturdiwheat Shortbread Mix (for crust)

6 Egg yolks (Reserve egg whites for the meringue)

2 Cups Sugar + 12 Tblsp for the Meringue

4 Tblsp. Flour

1 Cup Evaporated Milk

1/2 tsp. Salt

5 Cups Chopped Rhubarb

Orange Zest (Grated rind from 1 orange)

Crust:

Prepare Shortbread Mix as directed on package and pat in a 9×13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for12-15 minutes

Filling;

In a large bowl mix eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk, salt, rhubarb and orange zest and pour over hot crust. Return to oven for 35-45 minutes until center is set.

Meringue:

Beat egg whites until frothy, add 12 Tblsp. sugar (1 Tblsp. at a time), add vanilla and salt and beat until stiff peaks. Spread over hot custard and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until meringue peaks are slightly browned.

Let cool out on counter away from drafts. Serve warm or cold! Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

THIS IS HEAVENLY!