Rhubarb and I took a trip to Bozeman. I simply couldn’t leave the stalks at home. They ran the risk of getting limp and sad while I was away. So, I tucked them into my purse and toted them in my carry-on. We left the sunny skies of San Francisco for the snowy Montana spring…
And in no time, Rhubarb and I were in Big Sky country, ready for adventure.
Upon arrival, I nestled Rhubarb neatly into the fridge. On Saturday morning, we headed out to Pleasant View Ranch to witness the branding of baby cattle. Land stretched in all directions, the branding irons were hot, and there was the ever-present background drone of mama cows moo-ing for their babies on the other side of the fence.
I had big intentions for my Rhubarb. I didn’t want it to disappoint after traveling so far, wedged in a stuffy overhead bin. So, I’d printed out a recipe that looked just right from Pure Simple Cooking and folded it in between the pages of my book. And when this Sunday evening rolled around, I figured there’s nothing quite like capping if off by tucking into a warm slice of cake. Tangy and sweet spring rhubarb cake, at that.
It’s versatile and voluptuous. As Diana Henry says, “This is a good blueprint to use for other fruit-topped cakes. Instead of rhubarb, you could try sliced peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, or apricots. You just need to make sure your fruit is tender and ripe…”
It is a simple and wholesome and elegant cake. After tasting the rhubarb version, I’m already dreaming of the various fruit versions I will bake, season and mood dependent. Of course.
Ramblin’ Rhubarb Cake
Adapted from Pure Simple Cooking
9 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar, plus 5 tablespoons for the rhubarb
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-rising flour (if you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour)
2 – 3 tablespoons milk
5 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 or 9 inch springform pan. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, then fold in the flour with a spatula or spoon, adding enough of the milk to give the batter a droopy consistency. Scrape into the pan and evenly smooth the surface.
Toss the rhubarb with the 5 tablespoons sugar and arrange it evenly over the top of the cake. Bake for 40 minutes. The cake is ready when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the pan, then carefully remove the ring and base. Dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve.