Rhubarb a perfect spring food

  • Friday, May 10, 2013 5:46pm
  • Life

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.

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