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Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Rhubarb a perfect spring food

Judyrae Kruse is taking some time off. This is a column that originally appeared in April 2010.
Forum cooks have made it clear over the years that recipes for rhubarb anything are always in demand.
Even so, I had no idea how really rhubarb-revved readers are until Dorothy Foraker of Everett generously decided to share a copy of "Good Ol' Fashioned Rhubarb Recipes From Bremerton, Wash.,'' saying in the March 3 Forum, "With this extra copy on hand, I couldn't think of a better person than you to 'pass it forward.' ''
Whereupon, of course, I passed it forward to you, along with direct quotes from Shane Foraker, Dorothy's son and the cookbook's creator, along with a recipe for Victoria sauce, that wonderful, marvelous finishing touch/go-with, designed, among other endless possibilities, to enhance meat and meat sandwiches.
So, then, in answer to popular demand, we'll take a taste of another of Shane's cookbook's recipes, starting right now.
This particular dessert happening is not only a dandy new and different "do'' for rhubarb, it's timely, too.
In fact, Shane notes, "Guests are sure to 'think spring' when they taste this delectable trifle.''
Strawberry rhubarb trifle
Custard:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups whole milk
5 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling:
4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 prepared angel-food cake (8 inches), cubed, divided
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
For the custard, in a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly.
Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature without stirring.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 5 to 8 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold a fourth of the whipped cream into the custard. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
To assemble the trifle, place half of the cake cubes in a 21/2-quart trifle bowl (or, if you don't have a trifle bowl, in any wide, flat-bottomed, straight-sided, preferably clear glass bowl).
Spread with half of the rhubarb mixture; top with 1 cup of the strawberries and half of the custard. Repeat layers.
Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes 12 to 14 servings.
Story tags » FoodCooking

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