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I had a request from a reader for recipes for rhubarb and I'm happy to oblige.
When I was growing up, my grandma Dillon had a lot of rhubarb in the garden, on the edge by the fence. The plants got so big they would come to the top of the fence.
The leaves (which you do not eat; they are toxic) got so huge my cousins and I would make hats out of them when we were playing.
Grandma called it "pie plant" and she cooked a lot of it in cobblers, pies and something she called rhubarb pudding.
She made rhubarb jam that was absolutely delicious.
I've tried to re-create that jam many times, but mine never quite measures up to hers. (I think that may be the "grandma factor.")
I've planted rhubarb in two different places at my house, but I have yet to get a good crop. If anyone has any good rhubarb-growing tips, please let me know.
Here are some tried and true rhubarb recipes for you to try.
Butter for baking dish
4 c. rhubarb, cut in one-inch pieces
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. lightly toasted almond slivers
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
4 T. butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. sugar
Grease a 9xll inch baking dish with butter. In a bowl, combine the rhubarb, raisins, almonds and brown sugar and set aside. In large bowl, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and mix in eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, vanilla and sugar. Beat till smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the rhubarb mixture over the batter and gently press it down so that most of the fruit is buried in the batter. Dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or till a cake tester in the center comes out clean. Serves 8.
3 c. finely cut rhubarb
3 c. crushed blueberries
7 c. sugar
1 bottle liquid fruit pectin
Combine rhubarb and blueberries in large saucepan; add sugar and mix. Place over medium high heat and bring to full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add pectin. Stir and skim for 5 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars and cover with paraffin or put in boiling water bath for five minutes. Makes about four pints.