Well, summer is upon us and, back in the day of my youth, that meant one thing.
Grandma was making homemade rhubarb pie. Okay, truth be told, she didn't just make that during the summer. She would pick the rhubarb she had growing in her garden and freeze it so rhubarb pies could be made for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. But, frankly, it will always be a summer reminder for me.
Now this dessert had a very distinct flavor and aroma that has dogged me for years. I wanted to savor it again. And figured that taste went to the grave along with my grandmother. Well, not so fast, Len. Luckily, two of my cousins remembered how our grandmother made it and shared the recipe with me. I gave it a whirl two summers ago and...well...I managed to duplicate this treat in both taste and appearance.
You want to know what I am talking about?
First off, go buy about five or six rhubarb stalks. When they're in season, they are easy to find in an fresh vegetable department. If they are not in season, you can still get them but the price goes up to four hundred dollars per stalk.
Rinse the stalks completely and cut off the leaves. Duh. Then slice the stalks into 1/4 inch pieces. Dump them into a pot with about an inch of water. Stir in a cup of sugar...yes, one cup of sugar. Get this all boiling.
You will see magic occur. The stalks will stew and get very stringy. Keep stirring so you don't have to use Brillo on the pot. After about ten minutes, you should have this soupy fruit puree. Now add the secret weapon.
One box of strawberry Jell-o. Yes, you heard me. Strawberry Jell-o. Stir it and then pour the concoction into a Tupperware bowl that you can chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
You will need a bottom crust and the more adventurous of you will likely make your own. Not me. You can buy the dough ready made. Simply follow the instructions and bake a bottom crust. Then let that chill.
Once both the filling and the crust are cool, pour the rhubarb (it should now be bright red and almost solid) into the crust and put it back in the refrigerator. Ideally, you should do this overnight.
The topping is fresh whipped cream and you should put that on top right before you serve it. If you use either Reddi Whip or Cool Whip, you should be shot at dawn. What? You don't know how to make fresh whipped cream? Well, Google it. I've already given you enough help today. The rhubarb pie without the whipped cream is enough for you to thank me endlessly.
Dinner last night: Chinese chopped salad.