When I was little, my parents had a little garden patch in the backyard where we grew all kinds of things: raspberries, corn, carrots, chives, lettuce and always, always rhubarb. Strangely enough being the sour-lover that I am, I wasn’t a fan. It just looked too much like celery and I just didn’t understand the attraction that made my parents and brother head out to the garden patch with a bowl of white sugar where they would dip and chomp their sugar-coated stalks like nobody’s business. Besides eating it raw, my mom would eventually make a rhubarb compote or a crumble….it was like my family was trying to poison me! To me, this wasn’t dessert, it was h-e-double hockey sticks. But then I grew up and fell in love with that strange fruit. Rhubarb, what’s not to love! I’ve eaten it raw, turned it into crumble…hell, I’ve even made compote. But one thing I’ve never had was the strawberry-rhubarb combo. Cornelius assured me it was a perfect pairing and after trying my hand at this decidedly schlumpy, but totally knock-your-socks-off cake, I can agree. Strawberry and rhubarb rocks.
This cake tastes great on it’s own, but you can dress it up with whipped cream or ice cream and turn it into a real treat. Or eat it up for breakfast with a dollop of yogurt, like we did in the photo above.
schlumpy strawberry-rhubarb pudding cake
2 c chopped rhubarb
2 c strawberries, cut in half
1/4 cup water
1 t cornstarch
1/4 c plus 1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c almond milk (soy or dairy would be fine too)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 400. In a medium sized saucepan, dissolve the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of sugar in water over medium-low heat. Add rhubarb and bring to a simmer, stirring occassionally for a few minutes. Turn off heat and add in strawberries and stir so the 2 fruits can mingle.
2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, mix together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla. Add the dry to the wet and gently combine.
3. Butter up a baking dish (I’m sure a 8 or 9 inch square or round pan would work – I used an old Pyrex dish) and add all but 1/2 c of the strawberry-rhubarb mixture. Top with cake batter and then drizzle the remaining portion of fruit overtop. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream, ice cream or yogurt.