Rhubarb Swirl, why did I wait so long to make you?
Oh my deliciousness, Rhubarb Swirl! Where have you been? I have a wire basket hidden in the back of my cookcook cupboard. When I find a recipe that has potential, I throw it in the stack. Last week, in a fit of organization, I decided to pull them out and divide them into categories.
Next, I sorted them into envelopes by season and I made a plan for sharing recipes that would be appropriate to the time of year. Like, no watermelon salsa in December or turkey in June, are you with me? In 2011 a friend gave me this recipe. After one bite I mourned the years I lost without having it!!
Rhubarb is producing wildly now and rhubarb afficionados have been hungrily awaiting the season. It seems we just can’t get enough and when a new recipe comes along we all do a little happy dance.
I can’t wait to tell my friend Denise that she was right! At the top of her note she wrote “real gooooood!” Every bite is a little gift from heaven.
I like to take a sample of a new recipe to my boss. He’s such an appreciative guinea pig. He came out of his office licking the fork and said, “this stuff is dangerous! I could eat the whole pan!!” Me too. I think you’ll agree.
- 2 inner packs of graham crackers
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 8 ounce tub whipped topping, thawed
- 3 cups raw rhubarb diced fine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 small box strawberry jello (or raspberry jello)
- CRUST The easiest way to make the crust is to crush graham crackers in food processor. Next, add sugar and butter. Pulse until everything is combined. Press mixture into 9" x 13" pan, bring sides up slightly. Bake at 375 degree for 6-8 minutes. Cool.
- RHUBARB SWIRL Put rhubarb in saucepan. Pour sugar over rhubarb and stir well. Let it sit for an hour. Rhubarb will release some of its juice. Add strawberry Jello and simmer until rhubarb is tender. Cool until syrupy.
- FILLING Prepare box of vanilla pudding according to package directions but only use 1 1/2 cups of milk and add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Fold in whipped topping and let set 5 minutes.
- ASSEMBLE Put pudding/whipped topping mixture on cooled crust. Spoon or pour rhubarb mixture over filling. Use a table knife to swirl rhubarb mixture through the pudding. Be careful not to go through crust, Rerigerate for about an hour before serving.
Light and not too sweet. Cut in sqaures or spoon into serving dish. Garnish with strawberries if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g
Here’s how you make it!
Begin with three cups of finely diced rhubarb. Pour a cup of sugar over it stir it up and let it sit for an hour or so. The sugar will draw out some of the natural juice. Now that I’ve made it once, I would say just start right in the saucepan you’re going to use. Next, you’ll simmer it gently until the rhubarb is soft and tender, about 10 minutes.
Once the rhubarb is tender, put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool. (Lick the pan- I did!) I put it in a glass measuring cup with a lip on it so I could pour it easily over the pudding mixture. The spoon contracts cold into the rhubarb and I stirred it a few times until it was cool and syrupy.
Meanwhile, you can make the crust. It works great to do it all in your food processor! Break up crackers a bit then pulse until they become crumbs. Add sugar and butter and pulse, scraping down sides a couple of times until everything looks a little bit like coarse brown sugar.
Next, pat the crumb mixture into a 13 x 9 pan. I used glass to show off the layers! Bring up the sides a bit and bake at 375 degrees for about 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the pudding.
The instant pudding is made almost like the package directions except use only 1 1/2 cups milk and add a bit of vanilla. I had French vanilla pudding in the cupboard so that’s what I used in case you wondered about the color.
Now you’ll fold your defrosted Cool Whip into the pudding until it’s all nicely blended. Isn’t it pretty?
Hooray! You’re ready to assemble the beautiful dessert!
Put that beautiful pudding on the crunchy crust and smooth it around evenly. (Lick the bowl and the spatula, I did!)
Then, dribble the rhubarb mixture over the pudding layer.
Next, you’ll use a table knife or skinny straight spatula to gently swirl the rhubarb into the pudding. Don’t disturb the crust when you’re doing this and swirl just enough to see both the creamy pudding and the bright red rhubarb mixture! It’s a marbled work of art!
The hardest part is letting it sit in the refrigerator at least an hour before you serve it! After an hour or so, you can spoon it into dessert cups. If you can stand to leave it for a few hours or overnight, it will cut neatly into squares.
As you can see, I couldn’t wait!! But the next day, it had firmed up and cut into lovely square serving that I plated.
Rhubarb is just one of the many ways God shows He loves us!
If you are lucky enough to have a rhubarb bed, the best time to harvest is from spring to early summer—usually April to June. If your plants are 4 or more years old, you can continue to pull stalks into early fall. Just make sure you stop harvesting well before frost to assure the plant survives through the winter. Younger plants should only be harvested for about 3 weeks and never in the first year.
If you notice tall cauliflower-looking seed pods shooting up, remove them as soon as you see them because they will reduce the yield. When rhubarb “bolts” it puts a lot of energy into producing the flower and seed. A well tended rhubarb bed can keep producing for over 100 years! One of my plants is from stock that old!
Too much rhubarb? I’ll bet you have friends that would love some but it’s easy as pie (couldn’t resist!) to freeze it. Just wash, trim and dice. Lay on parchment or foil lined cookie sheets and freeze, uncovered until firm. In foodie-speak, that’s called IQF, individually quick frozen. Then simply scoop it into freezer bags and use to make cobblers, pies, jam, bread or this yummy dessert!! It will keep a year – until you have another crop!
Here are more of my favorite rhubarb recipes!
Rhubarb Swirl Dessert. It’s a beautiful, easy, and perfect dessert for the season! Make some tomorrow!
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
If you haven’t already, check out my Facebook page where I’ll be posting easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes every week!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)