Lemon-Ginger Rhubarb Dessert

1c crushed gingersnaps
1¼c lemon shortbread cookies
⅔ stick melted butter
½c sugar

5c rhubarb
2c sugar
1t lemon extract
2T flour
a pinch of salt
½t pumpkin pie spice

3 eggs
½c half and half

Crush the cookies and combine with butter and sugar.  Keep aside a couple tablespoons of this to sprinkle on top before baking.  Press into a 9x9" baking dish.

Combine the rhubarb, and that group of ingredients, in a heavy pot.  Heat until the rhubarb starts juicing and the sugar melts.  As this happens, the flour will begin to thicken it.  When it does, remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Once you're sure the mixture isn't too hot (so as not to curdle it) temper the egg mixture with a little of the warm rhubarb, then stir the beaten eggs and half and half into the rhubarb mixture. 

Once combined, pour this filling into the pan with the crust.  Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.  Serve with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream, berry ice cream, lemon sorbet, or fresh vanilla whipped cream 😋 This is not a bar dessert, but one that you scoop out into a bowl.  I wasn't sure how the texture would turn out, but the flavor is oh, so good!!

Normally I don't bake.  For a couple reasons.  It doesn't come naturally to me.  Since I don't understand leavening agents very well, I'm never quite sure which to use to create the desired effect.    So baking, for me is far less certain than cooking.  More science involved.  Cooking is blissful, freeform art!!  It the kitchen I'm far more an Artist than a Scientist.  Many months ago, I bought a container of amazing lemon shortbread cookies.  Immediately my mind began concocting a crust recipe, using them to go with the 5c of rhubarb I got from my little plant last year, that was now in my freezer.  Those cookies never appeared again, but I did find these and decided that since they didn't have quite the flavor I wanted, I'd combine them with Gingersnaps!  It worked!!  The other reason I don't bake a lot.  I have zero willpower!  If I bake something that turns out well, the whole pan could be gone in 24 hours!  And I live alone!!   If I make this again - (which I probably will 😉) - I'll add 1c crushed soda crackers, increase the butter to 1 stick and the sugar to ¾c.  It turned out so well the way it is, but this would have added a bit more crust and made it a little less caramel-y.  I once ran out of graham crackers while making a graham cracker crust.  I ended up using ⅔ the amount of graham crackers needed and filled in the rest with ⅓ of the amount being soda crackers.  I've never gone back to the original way of making graham cracker crusts since then!  It's a great balance with the little bit of neutrality the soda crackers provide, as well as the addition of that little bit of salt.  Try it!  You too may never make graham cracker crusts the same way again!

As always:  Be Bold - Be Creative - And I Wish You Much Time Spent Happily Cooking. . . Lin

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