Rhubarb Spring Mousse is tasty, easy to make

Posted May 21, 2010, at 7:06 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:49 a.m.

How nice to have a mousse that won’t get hit in the road by a car. This is a rhubarb mousse sent by Kay Wilkins in Ellsworth. She wrote, “What follows is a recipe from my friend Daniel MacKay in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I really appreciate it since I have diabetes and this tastes good with sugar substitute and uses my abundant rhubarb. It’s a lovely pink color.”

There is a lot of good news around this recipe. First off, isn’t it fun to have something made of rhubarb that isn’t pie, sauce, or even cake? Second, as Kay points out, “I use Splenda, but sugar, of course would be fine.” Third, it is pretty easy. Fourth, you can make this with frozen rhubarb in the dead of winter. Fifth, you can eat a big bowlful because it is mostly air.

And sixth, but only for me, I had rhubarb juice canned in quarts that we still hadn’t used up and which I heated up until it would dissolve the gelatin. I learned how to make “rhu-juice” from Gretchen Ogden Piston in Camden, who uses it blended with ginger beer or soda, though other carbonated beverages are good with it, too. We have a steam juicer so whacking up rhubarb stalks into shortish pieces and steaming them is an easy job, and I drain the resulting pink juice straight into hot, clean jars, slap a lid on it and call it good. It’s a great way to use excessive rhubarb.

Without juice on hand, though, all you need to do is add a nonarduous cooking and straining step. To cool my hot juice, gelatin and sugar mixture, I put it into a stainless steel bowl and stuck it in the fridge freezer because, typically, I waited until too late in the day to make it. It achieved the right consistency for beating in less than an hour.

Around our house, this little dessert is now called Rhu Mousse, even though its birth certificate says “Rhubarb Spring Mousse.”

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Rhubarb Spring Mousse

Yields 6-8 servings.

6 cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen

1 packet gelatin

1 cup sugar, about 1 cup equivalent sweetener

Soften a packet of gelatin, about 1 tablespoon, in one-quarter cup cold water.

Wash the rhubarb (don’t peel) and cut into two-inch pieces. Place in a tight-lidded saucepan with a little water. Cook for about six minutes after steam begins escaping from pan.

Set up a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth to collect the liquid from the stewed rhubarb. Drain for about 10 minutes. You can stir it a bit, but don’t press it out because that makes the juice muddy. You’ll want to end up with one and a half to two cups of rhubarb liquid. Discard the rhubarb pieces.

Add softened gelatin to hot juice and stir until completely dissolved. Add sugar or sweetener. Chill until the consistency of unbeaten egg whites. Whip until the mousse is about two to three times the volume of the liquid. Chill in a bowl or mold until set.

Serve with whipped cream, or your favorite topping.

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Looking for: “a recipe called mountain muffins.”

Linda Duquette of Dixmont has been looking for this recipe for some time.

“It is a recipe that I used as a young girl when I was in the 4-H Club. I have long since lost the county extension book 4-Hers used at that time. I sent away for the extension cookbook since, but the recipe is no longer in the book. Can you suggest where I might find this recipe elsewhere?”

Well, elsewhere is a whole lot of you. Any former 4-H’ers out there, or anyone else for that matter, with mountain muffins in their recipe file?

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