Strawberries and Rhubarb

Strawberries and rhubarb are in season

JUNE ENTWISTLE wins blue ribbons every year at the Florida State Fair for her baking and canning. She’s the author of a must-have cookbook called HOME OF THE KUMQUAT QUEEN (Cork Hill Press 866-688-2665). Besides the recipes, the book has stories you can read in bed at night and then fall sleep with a silly smile on your face.

She says …

I always associate spring with rhubarb and strawberries. I’ve put together three quick and easy recipes for the Friendly Haven readers. Rhubarb Cream Pie is a recipe from my adopted mom, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is one of my all time favorites, and sugar-free Strawberry Freezer Jam is just plain delicious.

When I was a young wife, I was already considered a good cook. The son of one of my mother’s friends (the son I had a teenage crush on before I married) approached me one day and inquired if he could ask me a personal question.

My face flushed as I said sure and he must have thought I was just a bit strange.

He told me his new wife was a very good cook but that her pies were always pale and could I tell him what she was doing wrong.

I flustered a bit and managed to tell him in my clumsy professional way that she just needed to brush the crust with a little milk and sugar if it’s a fruit pie, or water or even a beaten egg.

He thanked me and we went our separate ways, his pale pie problem and my lingering crush both gone for good.

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RHUBARB CREAM PIE

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups cleaned and cut up rhubarb
1 recipe for plain pie pastry

Line pie plate with half of the pastry
Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg and butter
Add eggs and beat until smooth.
Place cut up rhubarb in pie shell and pour mixture over all.

Cover top with reserved pastry, brush top with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar (if desired)
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees for about 30 more minutes. Yumm!

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STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

2 cups cleaned and cut up rhubarb
2 cups slice fresh strawberries
1 beaten egg
1 cup sugar or a half to 1 cup honey
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe plain pie pastry

Line pie plate with half of the pie pastry.
Blend all ingredients in a bowl and pour all into pie plate.
Cover with rest of the dough, brush with beaten egg, sprinkle top with sugar if desired and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

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SUGAR-FREE STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM

2 quarts fresh strawberries, cleaned and crushed
1 cup apple juice
Half cup to 1 cup honey (if desired)
1 package Ball No-Sugar-Needed Pectin Fruit Jell

Place strawberries in pan and sprinkle Fruit Jell over all.
Fold together.
Add honey and apple juice.
Bring mixture to rolling boil for 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and ladle into freezer-use containers.
Cover. Let cool.
Place labels with date and name of jam and freeze.