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8:14 PM Fri, Sept. 21st

Column: Rhubarb recipes combine sweetness and tartness

JOANNE SANDLIN, Courier Columnist

JOANNE SANDLIN, Courier Columnist

This seasonal food is one of those you either love or can't stand. We are, of course, talking about rhubarb. Since most people do like strawberries and they are often paired with rhubarb here are some recipes to try. I have heard "rhubarb haters" change their mind when the sweetness of strawberries makes the tartness of rhubarb palatable. Many people like to freeze fresh rhubarb for later use.STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB PIE2 lbs. fresh or frozen rhubarb1 lb. package frozen strawberries1 cup sugar1 tsp. salt3/4 cup corn starch1/2 cup water1 tbsp. lemon juice2 unbaked pie crust shells (bought or homemade)1 eggsugarPreheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add rhubarb, remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain water and add sugar, salt and strawberries to pot. Mix together cornstarch, water and lemon juice. Stir into rhubarb mixture and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Fill bottom pie crust shell. Use second to put on top. Seal/crimp edges well. Beat egg, brush top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Pierce top crust a few times with knife to vent. Bake 45-55 minutes.RHUBARB FLIP(Lighter and sweeter than rhubarb pie.)5 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb1/4 cup cornstarch5 tbsp. water1-1/2 cup sugar2-4 drops red food color2 cups dry white or yellow cake mix3/4 cup shredded coconut1/2 cup chopped walnuts1/2 cup butter or margarine, meltedPlace rhubarb in greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. In small saucepan, mix cornstarch and water; add sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture boils and thickens. Add food coloring. Cool slightly and pour over rhubarb. Sprinkle cake mix over rhubarb; top with coconut and nuts. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until cake tests done. Yields 12 servings.RHUBARB SALAD(This is said to convert the rhubarb haters to rhubarb lovers!)4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb1-1/2 cup cold water, divided3/4 cup sugar1 package (6 oz.) raspberry or strawberry-flavored gelatin1 tbsp. grated orange peel1/2 cup finely chopped celery1/2 cup chopped nuts, opt.In pan cook rhubarb, 1/2 cup water and sugar until a sauce forms, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Add orange peel, celery, nuts if desired, and remaining water; mix well. Pour into lightly greased 4 to 5-1/2 cup mold. Cover and chill until set. Serves 8.STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB DUMPLINGS4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed1-1/2 cup water1 cup sugar1/8 tsp. salt1-1/2 cup mashed strawberries1 cup biscuit/baking mix1/3 cup milkWhipped creamIn large saucepan, bring rhubarb, water, sugar and salt to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Stir in strawberries; return to boil.In large bowl, combine biscuit mix and milk just until moistened. Drop batter in four mounds onto rhubarb mixture. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream. Serves 4.