Monday, April 27, 2009

My first rhubarb

Streusel Rhubarb Cake
The Practical Produce Cookbook Copyright 1997

2 c. flour
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ c. butter
1 c. milk
1 egg
4 c. sliced rhubarb I diced it
3 T. strawberry or raspberry gelatin I used 'wild strawberry' flavor
¾ c. sugar
½ c. flour
½ c. rolled oats
¼ c. butter

Combine first seven ingredients. Blend 1 minute at low speed; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread into a buttered 9x13-inch pan. Top batter with rhubarb; sprinkle with gelatin. I tossed the gelatin with the rhubarb before putting the rhubarb on the batter. In small bowl, combine remaining sugar, flour and oats. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or cooled, topped with whipped cream, if desired.

I heard that rhubard was in season but on my first trip to 'Auction' (local farmer's market) this year, there was none to be found. I don't get there until late in the day so it was probably sold out or maybe I just missed it. I really wasn't planning on buying any.

On Saturday I visited a few farm markets in another area and picked some up, with no idea of how I would use it. It just looked too good to pass up. Luckily, I also picked up this cookbook, The Practical Produce Cookbook, at the market where I bought the rhubard. There were many cookbooks there but there I was, standing in a produce market right at the beginning of the produce season in this area. I really didn't have to think too much before decided on this cookbook.

This may be my first rhubarb ever. I remember seeing a rhubarb pie back in my teens but I can't recall whether or not I ate any of it. I've seen rhubard in past seasons but I didn't feel compelled to buy any. It's something that is only seen during it's season so I only had to walk past it a few times and then it was gone until next year.

I managed to buy exactly enough rhubard for this recipe. The rhubard breaks down quite a bit. I wasn't sure if this would work - the rhubard was quite tart - but it did. The streusel topping wasn't my favorite. It tasted fine but it didn't quite all come together. I may not have blended it properly. It seemed like the sugar all ended up on the bottom of the bowl which then ended up on top of the cake. The rhubarb gives off a lot of liquid which seeped into the streusel by the next morning when I took it to work. If you like a crunchy topping, you need to eat this right away.

I'm not sure what to think of rhubard. I liked the tartness of it but I don't know if it had much flavor besides that. Was I tasting rhubard or the strawberry flavor from the gelatin? I think you could put just about anything between cake and streusel and it would taste good so I'm not sure that this recipe highlighted this fruit (or is this a vegetable?) I may have to experiment a bit more.

Question of the Day: What do you think of rhubard?

P.S I'm still working on the decor around here. It seems like a step backwards but I had been working with an old template that I customized myself (messily, right in the code) which prevented me from adding gadgets and all that fun stuff that Blogger now offers. I'm always the last one to get on board with anything.


Mrs. H said...

I LOVE rhubarb!! I will cook it down into a sauce (with sugar of course) and eat it just like that. I also love rhubarb crisp, rhubarb pie, rhubarb jam and everything else rhubarb.

Annie Jones said...

I, too, am a fan of rhubarb. I made a great rhubarb-pineapple upside down cake last year, as well as a pie with rhubarb, apple and gooseberries. And, of all things, a rhubarb and banana pie that was wonderful. They are all on my blog (search for rhubarb), should you want to try them.

Red Dirt Mummy said...

Yum! Love rhubarb - in pie, in crumble, plain stewed, just... yum!
Also love your pretty new look - very nice.

#1SAHM said...

I love rhubarb. It's definitely tart but in a strawberry-rhubarb pie...yum!

Brilynn said...

I have tons of memories of eating rhubarb plucked fresh from the garden and still warm from the sun and dipping it in a cup of sugar and eating it raw like that.

Randi said...

I never had rhubard until I moved to Canada, its not a big thing in S. Cal or FL. I make a dessert for the seniors called rhubarb custard cake. Its from Taste of Home and they love it. I think its just ok. Last year my friend gave me a plant and its now coming up. I'll probably have enough for one recipe of something.

Anonymous said...

The only time I ever came in contact with rhubarb was when I was at a friend's house and her mother served cooked rhubarb as a dessert. I guess I liked it. I don't remember any bad memories! Gee whiz, that was in the early '50's.