Five months since my last post, and I’m terribly slow on the uptake. In that time I’ve gained a position, lost a position, and read a whole pile of books, most of which were not particularly memorable. Or at least, yours truly with the below-average short term memory can’t remember them.

This is not to mention that RP ate my soul.

Anyway, it’s spring here in Wisconsin, and per my mother’s request this Mother’s Day, I made a rather tasty dessert from a creaky old recipe that’s been in the family for decades. No pictures, this time, as the meringue wasn’t overly pretty, and the rhubarb turned out quite a lot more juicy than I would have liked. Also, we had to buy the rhubarb as ours has already gone to seed…five dollars a pound. Ack. You won’t need more than a pound for this, though, which, I might add, is not nearly as futzy as it sounds.

It’s a tart! It’s a pie! It’s…oh, to heck with it…

Grandma’s* Rhubarb Delight; or, Lutherans Don’t Do Fancy Monikers Dessert

1 c. flour
.5 c. (one stick) butter, softened
1 Tbsp. sugar
a shake of salt

Heat oven to 350 F. Combine together like pastry dough or shortbread; i.e. mush it all up to look like clumpy crumbs. Pat this into a greased 8 inch square pan, fairly firm.

3 c. rhubarb (a little less than a pound, maybe 9/10ths of one), chopped
1.5 c. sugar (yeah, you’ll need it all)
shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg

Combine this all together in a bowl, fairly well. Metal’s not wise, though Mom says she’s done it in one. Don’t let it sit too long or the sugar will draw all the juices out and then there are problems like mine. Put this evenly on top of the crust you made above, and bake it (in the 350 F oven) for about 40 minutes.

While THAT’S going, mix up the following in a microwave-safe bowl:
1 c. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 egg yolks
shake of salt
splash of vanilla

Cook this in your microwave for about three minutes on high. COVER IT FIRST. Stir once every minute or so. Set it aside until the bottom part is done baking.

Make up a meringue in the last ten minutes or so of baking:
remaining 2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. or so sugar
splash of vanilla
shake of cream of tartar if it isn’t coming together

Meringues aren’t as hard as everyone says. Just get a mixer and beat the heck out of it on the highest setting. Hard peaks are when it stands up on its own.

Take out the baked part and pour the pudding you made over the top evenly. It probably won’t spread too well, so a good pouring hand is necessary. Then spread the meringue evenly on top. Put it back in the oven for five minutes or so until the meringue is set. Turn off the oven, let it cool, then cover with wax paper and put in the fridge.
*Incidentally,  I’m not sure who ‘Grandma’ is–my grandma makes this but it’s not her recipe. I think it might be my mother’s grandma, who died about twenty-odd years ago and was, like most of my relatives of a certain era, a dairy farmer from central Wisconsin.

This is best served cold or at room temperature, by the way, and can also be made with apples (use about six of them cut thin, and only use .5 c sugar). It’s a great thing for potlucks if you want everyone to think you’re made of awesome. Only problem is that the crust is hard to cut and not so good for eating with plasticware.

Again, it’s not nearly such a pain in the rear to make as it sounds. Lemme know if you venture a go.