Do you love rhubarb as much as I do? Growing up in Wisconsin, it was a rite of spring for my mother to bake rhubarb pie or serve fresh rhubarb sauce. My father used to call rhubarb the “Pie Plant”. Rhubarb thrives during the cool first months of spring and is one of the first food crops to be harvested. Our May has been unusually cool and wet so it is very happy this year! Once summer begins, it’s usually time to stop harvesting rhubarb to allow it to save it’s strength for next year’s growing season.
Did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable?
Each year, I like to try at least two new rhubarb recipes. This year, the first recipe on my ‘list’ was this rhubarb-strawberry coffee cake. While it was a little more cake-like because of the pan I baked it in, you could use a wider pan to have less cake-to-filling ratio in each serving. Go ahead and have a bite!
Or two! It’s delicious and just the kind of cake I love with a streusel topping and no frosting.
I’ve mentioned how our weather here has been chilly and rainy this month and my The Lilies of the Valley were battered from the storms, wind and rain, but they still smell divine! Just like the leaves of the rhubarb plant, they are also poisonous so don’t let little ones put them in their mouth.
In spite of our weather, it’s been a fun-filled May! I had a wonderful Mother’s Day at daughter’s home and, over Memorial Day, we were able to attend a Brewers baseball game with one of our grandsons and our daughter ♥ 3 Home runs and a win for the Brewers last Sunday! A great game to see.
And, on a recent trip downtown, I spied these adorable swan paddleboats sitting empty in the lagoon near Lake Michigan. Soon, it will be June and hopefully, sunny and warm again, so this sweet flock will be paddling all around making people smile.
Here’s to June and warmer weather!!
Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake
Makes 8 Servings
Filling (cook and cool before proceeding with cake):
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 cup + 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 sticks) cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 or 9 non-stick springform pan. You may also use an 8 or 9-inch square Pyrex baking dish. If you are using an aluminum pan that doesn’t have a non-stick coating, line the pan with parchment paper or the rhubarb will turn gray.
In saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in rhubarb and strawberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. In another bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir quickly into flour mixture until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Spoon about 2/3 of cake batter into prepared pan. Top with fruit mixture. Cover with remaining batter.
Mix together topping ingredients and blend with a fork or your fingers until crumbling. Sprinkle over top of batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes (depending on your oven and the depth of your pan), or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean and cake top is golden brown.
Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove cake from pan and cook completely.