CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Rhubarb Crunch

Nothing makes me think of spring more than rhubarb. So, when I come across some of it in the freezer during the dead of winter, my heart soars.

Actually, we’re less than a month away from the official first day of spring. And even though those of us who’ve lived in the Northland all of our lives know that we still could have some bad weather,  it’s not too early to be thinking about our gardens — and the first things we’ll be harvesting, like rhubarb. Or those tasty pies, jams and other goodies that can be made from rhubarb.

Fortunately for those of us who had the foresight to freeze some of the cut-up stalks last summer,  a spring dessert such as rhubarb crunch isn’t out of the question.

I plan on pulling out a bag of rhubarb from the freezer soon to make a recipe that was given to me by my late friend, Wayne Knain, of Grand Forks, N.D.

Wayne was a huge lover of rhubarb dessert. That was evident each spring, as he was a faithful attendee of University Lutheran Church’s Rhubarb Festival. There wasn’t one rhubarb offering at the festival that was safe when Wayne was around.

One of Wayne’s favorites, though, came from a Catholic church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Reynolds, N.D. I’ve made the dessert a couple of times and have never been disappointed.

Rhubarb Crunch
1 cup sifted flour
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ cup butter
2 eggs
¼ cup flour
1½ cups sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups rhubarb, cut in small chunks
Mix together 1 cup flour, powdered sugar and butter in a bowl. Pat into bottom of an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until brown.
Beat eggs until fluffy and gradually add sugar, ¼ cup flour, baking powder and salt that has been sifted together. Stir in cut rhubarb and put in pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

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