Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

It is the winter that never ends. Seriously, we have snow in the forecast for the next three days. In May. When the rhubarb should be popping up all over the place. Luckily, I spotted some in the grocery store last weekend and nabbed a few stalks.

Nothing says Spring in the Midwest quite like rhubarb. It's prolific. So when I found it, it was as if I was bringing a little bit of Spring home with me. Sigh. Well, if I can't have a real Spring, at least I can have some really good coffeecake.

I've been wanting to make a crumb cake for awhile. You know the ones--Entenmann's makes one with the really big crumbs on top. Those crumbs are just so yummy. It's a New York thing, apparently. Lucky for me, The New York Times had a recipe for a Rhubarb "Big Crumb" Coffeecake. Perfect. I borrowed the "Big Crumb" part and played around with the rest of the recipe. You will not be disappointed.

Rhubarb Crumb Cake 
Rhubarb Filling:
2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup cake flour

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; butter and flour a 9" X 13" pan.

In a small bowl, combine the rhubarb with the sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Fold in the cake flour. Mixture will be thick. Set aside. 

The crumb "batter" looks like cookie dough. I added a pinch of cardamom to make it just that much more Minnesotan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Cream together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in the sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Fold the flour mixture into the sour cream mixture, stirring until just blended. 

Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Evenly top the batter with the rhubarb pieces. Break the crumb topping into pea-sized pieces and sprinkle over the top of the rhubarb. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

I actually ran out of cake flour and used all-purpose flour for the cake. While it turned out fine, I think the cake flour would give it a more tender crumb.

Just so you don't think my husband and I ate the whole thing, I brought most of it to work (where I could munch on it throughout the day).

Wow...was this a success! I can't wait to try this with blueberries. Or peaches. Or apples.....

What kind of Crumb Cake would you make?

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