It's been awhile and I won't bore you with the details of my absence. Suffice to say that it has been hot and bothersome in these here parts. Recently, however, I was lucky enough to have a new double-oven range delivered to my kitchen. Thanks to Mixing Bowl and Frigidaire, I was the winner in the Frigidaire's Ultimate Recipe Contest on MixingBowl.com! I know the first thing I should have baked was the winning recipe, Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal Cookies, but I've been getting some requests for a rhubarb dessert. So, let it be rhubarb!
Rhubarb Slices with Buttered Almond Glaze
1 pound rhubarb, fresh or frozen, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup butter flavored shortening
2/3 cup cold milk
1 egg yolk (reserve the white for brushing on the crust)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb with 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to simmer and continue to cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Stir the beaten eggs into the cooled rhubarb mixture and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. With a fork, cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Beat the egg yolk into the cold milk and slowly add it to the flour mixture, stirring it together until it forms a ball. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently knead a little more flour into it if it is too sticky (avoid handling it too much, or the crust will be tough).
Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle a little flour on a piece of parchment paper or a silpat and roll out one half of the dough into a large enough rectangle to cover the bottom and sides of the 9 X 13 inch pan. Turn the dough into the pan and gently press it into place. Prick several holes into the dough with a fork.
Beat the egg white with a fork until frothy (add a couple drops of water if desired). Brush about 1/2 of the egg white over the crust.
Spread the rhubarb mixture evenly over the crust. Roll out the other half of the dough and carefully place over the rhubarb mixture. Prick the crust to vent and brush the remaining egg white over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Remove to a cooling rack. Drizzle with glaze while still warm. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if desired.
For the glaze, simply blend the melted butter, almond extract, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon milk together with a fork until it is smooth. Add additional milk, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Since I just had to try out the range right away, I grabbed a pan and fried an egg. I have to confess that my air conditioning was on the blink and the heat index outside was hovering around 113 degrees....so I waited until nightfall to turn on the oven. The little one on top is perfect for just one item---and it doesn't heat up the entire house (not that it would have made much difference, lol).
If you look close, you can see the condensation on the pan. It was quite warm, so I didn't bother with cutting fresh rhubarb--I confess to using frozen.
Feel free to double the filling. I wanted to be able to pick the slices up by hand, so I just used less rhubarb. I also just pushed the crust halfway up the pan.
Rhubarb is actually considered a vegetable and it is very tart. If you prefer a sweeter filling, it is OK to add a little more sugar.
These slices are just a variation of my Strawberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie, and my original recipe for Apple Pie Slices. The dough is a bit denser than traditional pie crust and it allows for portability--really important if you want to pick up a piece and run! My next try at this will be with peaches...stay tuned.