"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Monday, 10 May 2010

A rite of spring...that doesn't involve manure!

Okay. 'nuff said about all the nastiness of a country spring. Wanna know the truest sign of my favourite season? When the rhubarb patch is finally high enough to yank out enough stalks to make the first rhubarb cake of the year.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a baker. But rhubarb cake is the one thing that I can make and it never goes wrong. EVER. And the bonus is that both D and his brother are mad for it! Whoo hoo!

I can't remember where I got my tiny printed recipe from, but Mom used to make a rhubarb cake that was very similar, only she called hers "lava cake" because when it was done, the top looked like crusted over lava, and the inside was always moist and hot. I bless the person who printed that recipe for me though - it's my no-fail dessert, and I make about two a month until the rhubarb goes to seed.

The trick is to have nice crisp rhubarb that's not woody or too old. The stalks have to be juicy too; none of that hollow grocery store crap! Find a neighbour with an overgrown patch or a Mennonite roadside stand and you'll have exactly what you need. All it takes is about 6 good stalks to make one cake. Even if you don't really care for rhubarb, this baby strikes the perfect balance of sweet and tart. And - oh bliss - eat it warm with some vanilla ice cream on the side, and you'll never go back to plain old coffe cake again.

D is sick with a cold, but he stoically mounted the lawn tractor tonight to finish off the lawn before the next deluge, so I thought the poor man deserved to come in to the rich, brown-sugary smell of his favourite cake. Not to mention the lovin' arms of his favourite wife.

Kimber's Rhubarb Cake
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb (I sometimes use 3 cups)
1 tsp vanilla
sugar and cinnamon for sprinklin'

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.
2. Mix flour, soda and salt together in a small bowl & set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and milk and mix well.
4. Add flour mix gradually to butter mixture until blended.
5. Stir in vanilla and rhubarb.
6. Pour into pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired.
7. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool in pan on rack (but make sure you try some when it's still a bit warm!)


Susan said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. We have a nice little rhubarb patch in our backyard, so after we've enjoyed the pie D's going to make for tomorrow, this is the first thing I'm going to make with our rhubarb.

Susan said...

I finally made this yesterday, Kim. It was delicious indeed, and much enjoyed by my two lunch guests!