Have a Small Amount of Rhubarb? Make Rhubarb Mousse Cups
These mousse cups are so simple you almost don't need a recipe. They are also incredibly good! I have about a half dozen rhubarb plants, but only a couple are big enough to produce a few stalks. So my rhubarb crop is limited. Nonetheless, even a small amount is worth using! I use the microwave to stew down the rhubarb, then use the rhubarb sauce to top vanilla pudding mousse. The whole preparation process takes minutes, but you do need to cool the rhubarb and the mousse cups. I use "boxed" pudding mix and ready-made whipped topping because it's easy and relatively inexpensive, but you can certainly make your own vanilla pudding and add real whipped cream to it. I'm sure the "real thing" would be great. Frankly, though, if you're short on time and energy, go the easy route. The result is exceptionally good. You get fluffy, creamy, vanilla pudding-mousse topped with tart rhubarb sauce. The sweet and tart combination makes for a wonderful dessert that's a little unusual. The mousse cups also make a nice, light ending to a meal or a special tea time or evening treat. Enjoy!
Rhubarb Mousse Cups -- Makes 4
2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup of sugar
1-2 tablespoons of water
1 small box of vanilla pudding (regular or sugar-free is fine)
1 3/4 cups of milk (I use 1 percent, which works fine)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of whipped topping (like Cool Whip), plus extra to top the desserts
Put the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a microwave-safe bowl or measure (a Pyrex quart measure works well) and mix it well. Microwave the mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring the rhubarb every minute or two, until the rhubarb breaks down and the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. Set the rhubarb sauce aside to cool to room temperature. While the rhubarb is cooling, whisk the pudding mix into the milk, following the directions on the pudding package. Whisk in the vanilla once the pudding has started to thicken. When the pudding is thick but still soft-set, fold in the whipped topping with a spatula (gently!) until the topping is thoroughly incorporated into the pudding. The pudding will lighten a little in color and in texture. Divide the pudding among four small dessert bowls, leaving space at the top of the bowls for the rhubarb sauce. Divide the cooled rhubarb sauce among the dessert dishes, topping the vanilla mousse mixture. Refrigerate the desserts for at least a couple of hours. When you're ready to serve the mousse cups, top each dessert with a little more whipped topping. Yum!