How Do You Like Your Rhubarb?

May 30th, 2009

Rhubarb is in season, and in spite of not having a clue what to do with it, I’ve found myself wanting to buy some and experiment.

Truth is, I’ve only ever eaten rhubarb once, and that was in a type compote that my mom-in-law made. It was ok, but it wasn’t really something that I wanted to eat as an accompanyment to the meat at dinner.

In my internet travels, I came across the recipe below. The reviews were great, and I’ve been trying to decide whether I want to attempt to make it or not. The only reason that I wouldn’t, would be because I’d want to try it, and IF I like it, that could be a bad thing for the girlish figure.

Part of me wants to try it and share it with everyone. I have no doubt in my mind that Marcel or my mother-in-law have never tried anything like it, and since Marcel doesn’t like rhubarb, I wouldn’t tell him it was in there until after the fact- similar to the way I did when I made Banana Crumb Muffins. He isn’t a fan of bananas, so I told him after the fact, and ironically, they are one of his favorite muffins, and I can see why. I have at least made a healthy adaptation to those, so I can also indulge every once in a while, but I don’t think I’ve made them at all this year. Maybe it’s time I did.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you this recipe, plus it’s a great place to store it so I won’t lose it. If I make it this coming week, I’ll be sure to share not only photos, but let you know how people enjoyed it.

‘Big Crumb’ Coffeecake with Rhubarb
Adapted from The New York Times 6/6/07

Not rhubarb season? Don’t fret. I think this cake would be amazing with a blueberry, raspberry, sour cherry or any other tangy fruit filling you can think of. Simply adjust the sugar level accordingly–most of these will need far less than rhubarb does to make them palatable.

Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling

Butter for greasing pan

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour–worked just fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

2. To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid dough.

3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

3 Responses to “How Do You Like Your Rhubarb?”

  1. mub says:

    The only thing that rhubarb is truly good in is desserts. It’s one of those things that can’t stand alone for me *L*

  2. Dutchess THE SHINING says:

    i would love to be the Star at such a Gala Event, amen, with Rhubarb, and a Golden Finger, like Bond,James Bond, amen, or Pussy Galore, just Lots of it and all over the place, lying around waiting, heh heh,

  3. Summerwind says:

    As a child we had rhubarb often especially in the summer months as it was grew in our garden. My grandmother and aunt always used it for desert. We loved it.

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