Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb and LeafRhubarb is finally plentiful in the East (I’m sure it’s been in the West Coast farmers’ markets for a while now), and it’s a great mark of the seasons change from Spring to Summer. Real rhubarb (grown in a garden or field, not forced in hot houses as the year-round stuff is) is a sharp tangy taste of spring sunshine and cold rain. Classically it makes a great pie — more complex than sour cherries in my opinion — but can pair well with meats, especially pork. Next time you brine a pork loin before roasting, try adding a couple of stalks (chopped) of rhubarb to the brine; you will not be disappointed.

Rhubarb reaches sublime heights, in my opinion, in a brilliant yet easy to make cake that I first found in Susan Loomis’s Farmhouse Cookbook. It’s a moist and buttery sheetcake with just the right amount (not too much) sugar, punctuated by exclamation points of rhubarb chunks throughout. So simple but so good, and worth waiting for that spring sunshine to perk up the palate.

Rhubarb Cake

preheat oven to 350 °F

2 cups diced rhubarb, tossed with
1/4 cup of sugar (set these aside)

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 stick (8 oz.) softened butter
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt

Add the rhubarb to the batter, pour into a 7″ by 12″ baking dish, then bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or just until a toothpick comes out clean.

Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

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