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Eating Well: Yummy rhubarb perfect ingredient for tart desserts

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I've had several people over the course of the last few weeks ask for reruns of favorite rhubarb recipes featured in the past.

This week's column will oblige with several that are tried and true and sure to be perfect for your summer dessert line-up for those heavy on casual entertaining, and of course, the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner.

With rhubarb in plentiful supply this summer, nothing is better than a quick, fresh dessert you can serve warm, topped with whipped topping or ice cream.

Favorites are the two different Rhubarb Upside Down cakes, always a hit, especially with the kids.

The second two are for Rhubarb Cakes, but slightly different versions - the first makes its own custard topping while the second is a spicier version with a cinnamon streusel topping.

If you want to add a little extra richness to the latter rhubarb cake recipe, forego the brown sugar and cinnamon topping and frost it with caramel icing once it has a chance to cool. This is one of the best caramel frosting recipes I've ever used on a cake - it doesn't harden and stays creamy right down to the very last piece of cake.

I've also thrown in an excellent Rhubarb Crisp recipe and for extra measure, a Rhubarb Jelly recipe, like none you'll find in the grocery store, so quick and easy and a great topping for that morning toast, English muffin or bagel.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy baking!!

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake I

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

6 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup white sugar

3 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 cake pan. Place rhubarb on the bottom of the greased pan. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the rhubarb. Sprinkle marshmallows over the rhubarb and sugar. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour over rhubarb and marshmallows in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool in pan for ten minutes, then invert on serving dish so that rhubarb is on top.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake II

1 box yellow cake mix

5 cups rhubarb, cut in small pieces

1 (3 oz.) box strawberry Jell-o

1 cup sugar

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Mix dry Jell-O and sugar together. Grease bottom of 9x13 cake pan. Pour the rhubarb on bottom and pour Jell-O-sugar mixture over top. Pour the cake batter on. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

1 package yellow or white cake mix

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 cup sugar

1 pint whipping cream

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Cover with the chopped rhubarb, then sprinkle sugar evenly over top. Pour the pint of cream over everything. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. The cream and rhubarb will form a custard on the bottom. Serve upside down with the custard on top. Excellent when served slightly warm with a little extra dollop of whipped cream.

Rhubarb Cake

1 ½ cups brown sugar

½ cup butter or margarine

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. soda

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

2 cups flour

1 ½ cups rhubarb cut in small pieces

1 tsp. vanilla


1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

With electric mixer blend together brown sugar, butter and eggs. Mix in buttermilk and follow with salt, soda, flour and vanilla. Beat well. Add the rhubarb and mix in. Pour into greased 9x13 cake pan.

Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top and swirl in a little with a knife.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold, topped with whipped cream, ice cream, or frost with the caramel frosting recipe featured below.

Delicious Caramel Frosting

½ cup butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream, more if needed

1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon or more of cream if the frosting gets too thick. Be sure to add cream in small amounts so you don't use too much.

Rhubarb Crisp

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup quick cooking rolled oats

½ cup melted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 cups diced rhubarb

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup water

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp.salt

In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, butter and cinnamon, and mix together until crumbly. Press half of the brown sugar and oats mixture into a greased 9 inch baking dish. Top with cut-up rhubarb.

In a saucepan, combine one cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and the one cup of water and vanilla. Cook together until clear and then pour over rhubarb. Top with remaining crumb mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream. (If you don't like the taste of cinnamon in your rhubarb crisp, you can leave it out.)

Easy Rhubarb Jelly

5 cups diced rhubarb

3 cups sugar

1 small package strawberry Jell-O

Mix rhubarb and sugar together in pan and let stand until juicy. Cook mixture until rhubarb is tender. Add package of Jell-O and cook just a little more until blended in well. Put in hot jars with hot lids and screw on tightly. Jelly will seal itself. Or pour into freezer containers with lids and freeze.