Red Currant Fruit Pizza

I realize from my last stories you probably think we are at McDonald’s all the time so I felt obliged to set the record straight. I cook!! I cook a LOT!! As a family of five and being on a tight budget I prepare a good majority of our food from scratch. I do this for economic reasons, nutritious reasons and because a tiny part of me actually (cough, cough) likes to cook! I will never be a food blogger because I don’t measure, I don’t write things down…I throw things together and hope for the best. If they’re hungry enough they’ll eat it!

At a recent visit to my mom’s house the kids were looking for something to do (2 acres of open land to run and play and they can’t find anything to do…eyeroll anyone???). Nana gave them each a bucket and told them to go pick currants. With the kids busy, my mom and I discussed this mysterious fruit. She had made currant jam 4 years ago. It wasn’t the best alone on toast. I guess it can be good on lamb but neither of us cook lamb. What can you do with currants??? We had to find out quick because the kids came back with an ice cream pail nearly full of currants…..this is a time consuming job (great for kids)!!!!

Cesar, our almost two year old, picking currants

I looked on the internet and couldn’t find many ideas. There was a recipe for currant syrup which my mom made and is very good. I put it over the kid’s plain yogurt for sweetener and over waffles. When I looked up the health benefits on this berry I was astounded at how nutritious it was and put myself on a mission to do even more with it! Here is what I “threw” together!

Red Currant Fruit Pizza

Ingredients for crust:

1/2 C. butter, softened

3/4 C. white sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

Ingredients for cream cheese layer:

1 (8 ounce) pkg. cream cheese

1/2 C. white sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for currant sauce:

1 1/2 C. currants

1/4 C. water

2 Tbsp. corn starch

1/4 C. white sugar (you can increase or decrease this to your liking)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 C. sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan or 13×9 pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 C. sugar and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust.
  5. In saucepan add currants and 1/4 C. water and 1/4 sugar. Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Once the currants have cooked down add cornstarch bring heat up to medium and stir until you have a thick sauce. Let cool and spread over cream cheese layer. Add fresh fruit on top of filling if desired and chill.

Notes: If you are not a fan of seeds you will need to cook your currants down and then put through strainer. I don’t mind seeds so I left them in.

P.S. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of how beautiful it was! I rarely take pictures of our food but trust me it was gorgeous and delicious! A must take on your next get together!

Rhubarb Popsicles

My parents were generous enough to give me the majority of their rhubarb from their garden this year; partly because I asked nicely and partly because I expressed my children’s new addiction and I NEEDED it!

I grew up loving rhubarb pie. ( I once entered a contest as a child with a local ice cream company for a new flavor…rhubarb custard…I didn’t win…they sent me a pencil…I felt they made a BIG mistake.) Over the years all of my kids and my husband (he hails from New Mexico and never had rhubarb until he met me) have claimed rhubarb pie as their favorite.

This year, my mom gave me a handful of stalks to take home and make my pie. A few days went by and when I didn’t see a trip to the grocery store in the near future to get a pie crust I decided to make rhubarb sauce (think applesauce but only with rhubarb).

It was an instant hit with the kids so I went and got more and more to make this nutritious (I looked it up..rhubarb has tons of vitamins and health benefits) dish for the kids.

As I mentioned before, I am NOT a perfectionist. I do not measure when I cook. I have a LOT of things that do not turn out like they probably should. Over the years I have become a master at “fixing” and improvising. Anyway, when one batch of rhubarb sauce went awry when I added too much water I made popsicles.

My children were over the moon with this concept and had me check every hour or so to see if they were frozen. When they finally got one they were in agreement it was the best popsicle they ever had! The next morning they asked if they could have one if they ate all their oatmeal. I agreed and they felt they had really pulled one over on me; which they have been known to do on my really tired days (chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, sure why not).

My mother said it perfectly….”When life hands you runny rhubarb sauce, make popsicles”

Image

Recipe for Rhubarb Sauce:

  1. Add chopped up fresh or frozen rhubarb to a pot (as much as your heart desires)
  2. Add a little water (not too much if you don’t want to make popsicles)
  3. Bring to a boil and unload the dishwasher
  4. Add a couple spoonfuls of sugar to give it a little sweet taste but keep it healthy
  5. Put to simmer and stir
  6. Change a diaper, get the mail, break up an argument between the older kids
  7. Stir again and let cool. Store in refrigerator and serve cold