In the past few days I have found out some interesting information: 1. Did you know that October is National Rhubarb Month? Well, it is and I decided to beat the rush by posting early. 2. Rhubarb is a vegetable in the celery family. (This little tidbit was something I did not realize, but also had never given it much thought as to what food group Rhubarb belonged. 3. Did you know there is a National Calendar app that lets you know the National whatever for the month? Maybe I am the only person that did not know this information.
Why my interest in rhubarb you might wonder. While shopping a few days ago I saw the rhubarb and wanted to try something new. Never cooking with rhubarb I asked myself the question: What do you make with rhubarb? I was going to need to do some research to answer that question.
While going through my cook books and searching the internet I found there were more recipes in the sweets group than the savory group for this vegetable. Pulling from several recipes I decided on two different sweets recipes for my rhubarb creations.
My first recipe was a Strawberry/Rhubarb Pavlova. It was easy and presentation looked so elegant. I thought it would be great when having guests. The Pavlova is light with a crisp crust on the outside and a soft marshmallow center. then fill the meringue cups with the fruit for a light, sweet dessert.
|Missing from photo are the frozen strawberries|
2. If using fresh ginger add this to the strawberry/rhubarb mixture (If using ground ginger wait until the end to add.) Then, bring the strawberry/rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat: let simmer stirring occasionally, until the strawberries and the rhubarb has broken down but some whole pieces remain. This takes about 5 minutes.
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 6 (3-inch) circles on the parchment: turn over and place on the baking sheet.
|at soft peak stage|
2. In a large bowl beat the egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form.
3. Place meringue mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a large
star tip. Pipe meringue onto drawn circles of the parchment paper forming the 3-inch meringue cups.
4. Bake at 250° for 50 minutes or until set and dry. Turn off the oven and do not open door. Leave the meringues in the oven for 1 hour.
5. After removing from oven. Fill the centers with the strawberry/rhubarb compote and serve.
The second recipe was a strawberry-rhubarb crumb pie. (Rhubarb is very sour and in sweets recipes was paired with a fruit and a good amount of sugar.) This pie was a winner, sweet and a little tart. It was difficult to just stop at one slice.
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