Aunt Ruth’s Rhubarb Dessert
My husband’s Aunt Ruth, made this at a wedding shower that she hosted for me in 1974. She made me feel welcomed into the family immediately, and generously shared this fabulous recipe, that I've adapted slightly over the years. For many decades, she steadfastly was my great cheerleader, and always considered me her niece (not the wife of her nephew), even after my husband died. When I remarried, she was the very first in line to congratulate me, and best of all, to embrace and welcome my new husband into the family. He was a new nephew to her, and she loved him. I’ll always be grateful for the example she set of pure generosity, and open-hearted, genuine kindness.
Preheat oven to 350.
1 c. (2 sticks) cold butter, sliced about 1/8”-1/4” thick
2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
Ruth’s directions are simply to blend these ingredients; I like using a food processor, quick pulsing a few times until mixture is crumbly– it should look like a coarse ground meal and if you squeeze some gently in your fist, it will hold together. Pat firmly into a 9x13 greased pyrex glass pan and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes (until light brown). Cool slightly.
5 egg yolks, beaten (save and set aside whites)
1/2 c. sugar (Ruth used 2 c.)
1 c. milk (or cream)
1/4 c. quick tapioca (Ruth used flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. rhubarb
Whisk all filling ingredients together except rhubarb. Then add rhubarb and pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min.
5 egg whites (egg whites at room temp will give you the best results)
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff. Add sugar gradually, 1-2 Tbsp. at a time. Arrange the meringue over the top of the rhubarb mixture, making sure to cover all the way to the edges, which will prevent shrinking and weeping. Return to the 350 oven, and bake again until brown. (check often)
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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