This blog has languished during my move to Wisconsin. My new job, quite honestly, has been kicking my ass, with long hours and a lengthy commute from G.’s house to our office in Milwaukee. I hope that will get better soon when I move into a condo in the city.
In the meantime, I’ve been doing only enough cooking to get by and using as much as possible from our freezer, which is still well-stocked thanks to the past two years of gardening.
This year’s garden has me worried. We’ve had enough rain to break the drought, but it’s so cold that just about the only thing growing is rhubarb and a tiny bit of lettuce in our hoop house. The rhubarb looks awesome though. The plants are big and bushy, with stalks that are ready to cut.
I harvested some yesterday and made a rhubarb pudding cake with a recipe from Kim Ode’s Rhubarb Renaissance, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It reminds me of a kind of upside-down strawberry shortcake, with rhubarb compote on the bottom covered by a moist cake with crunchy top.
G., who is still slightly suspicious of rhubarb, wanted to taste mine before he committed to a serving, but then he ate two. Here’s the recipe:
Rhubarb Pudding Cake
5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sugar (the recipe calls for granulated, but I used brown)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1 1/4 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Spread rhubarb evenly in the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla. This makes a thick batter. Drop spoonfuls on top of the rhubarb and smooth it out.
In another bowl, combine the 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, cardamom and lemon rind. Mix it, and then sprinkle it evenly on top of the batter.
Gently pour the boiling water over the whole thing.
Bake the cake for 50 minutes and then let it cool for 20 minutes before serving. It should still be warm.