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Springtime Means Time For Rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the first plants to come up in the garden. Keep these recipes handy to have available when it’s ready to pick.

MARSHMALLOW RHUBARB DESSERT

3 c. sliced rhubarb

1/2 of a 3-oz. (85-g) pkg. strawberry jelly powder

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. all-purpose OR unbleached flour

1/2 tsp. EACH baking powder AND soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 c. sour cream

Miniature marshmallows

Put rhubarb in a buttered 1.8-to 2-litre baking dish. Sprinkle over jelly powder; then pour over honey. Cream butter and sugar together; beat in egg and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream to creamed mixture. Pour batter over rhubarb, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for about 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tests done — when a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cover with a layer of marshmallows and place under broiler until they start to brown — watch carefully!

Serves 4-5.

FAVOURITE RHUBARB CRISP

4 c. chopped rhubarb 2/3 c. brown sugar (OR honey)

2 tsp. grated orange rind Topping:

1/3 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. whole-wheat flour (OR allpurpose)

1/3 c. fine coconut

1 tsp. cinnamon

Put rhubarb in buttered 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Put on top the sugar or honey and orange rind. In a mixing bowl, blend together butter and brown sugar. Rub in flour, coconut and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over rhubarb and bake in preheated 350 F oven about 40 minutes till topping is golden and rhubarb tender. Serves 6.

FIVE-LAYER RHUBARB CHEESECAKE

Crust:

1-1/4 c. graham wafer crumbs

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 c. butter, melted Filling:

2 –8-oz. (2 -250-g) pkgs. regular cream cheese, softened

3 tbsp. sour cream

1/3 c. sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 c. whipping cream (OR evaporated milk)

1 tbsp. grated orange rind Topping No. 1: 1-1/2 c. sour cream

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. orange extract Topping No. 2:

3 c. fresh OR frozen rhubarb, sliced

3/4 c. honey (OR 1 c. sugar and

1/4 c. water)

1 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. cold water Topping No. 3:

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/3 c. brown sugar

2/3 c. flour (whole-wheat OR allpurpose unbleached)

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine crust ingredients; press onto bottom and halfway up sides of an ungreased 9-inch spring-form pan. Freeze 15 minutes. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add eggs, cream and orange rind; mix just until combined. Pour into crust. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes or until centre is almost set. Combine sour cream, sugar and orange extract; carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cook 1 hour longer. Meanwhile, combine rhubarb and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until rhubarb is tender. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into rhubarb mixture. Bring to a boil, cook

Marshmallow Rhubarb Dessert.

and stir until thickened. Cover and refrigerate until cool. Spread over cooled cake.

For Topping No. 3: Combine all ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb. Broil, watching closely, until golden brown. Chill overnight. Remove sides of pan.

Serves 12.

PINEAPPLE-RHUBARB COBBLER

1 –19-oz. (540-ml) can pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)

2 c. rhubarb, cut in 1/2-in. pieces

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. pineapple juice (add water if necessary to make 1 c.) Scone swirls:

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. sugar

1/3 c. butter, cut into pieces 1/3-1/2 c. milk

Put drained pineapple tidbits and rhubarb into a greased 2-quart casserole. In saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gradually stir in pineapple juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour over fruit in casserole.

Make scone swirls: Sift or stir together flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut or rub in butter until crumbly. Add enough milk to make soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently 1/2 minute. Roll out into long, narrow strip 5x12x1/2 inches. Cut into 6 equal strips of dough about 3/4 inch wide. Coil loosely, leaving about a 2-inch end. Arrange on top of pineapple-rhubarb mixture with ends meeting at the centre. Bake in 400 F oven about 35 minutes. Serve warm with cream.

Serves 6.

Betty Keeler writes from Vanscoy, Sask.

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