rhubarb skillet cake

May 3, 2018

This recipe is the result of one of those happy accident moments. The kind where you set out with one intention and are left with an entirely different (read not bad, just not expected) result. What started as a batch of scones, somewhere along the way lost its true scone-ness and became instead this equally good but different skillet cake. The very first round wasn’t good exactly but it held the promise of possibility and to my mind that warrants, if nothing else, at least another try. You see, I’m a big believer in happy accidents, in leaving room for magic and the promise of possibility, both in life and in the kitchen. It is precisely the potential in these between spaces that keep the everyday interesting, exciting and fresh. If I don’t leave space for the unexpected or what I more fondly prefer to think of as an everyday sort of magic I find that is when a staleness creeps in and a rigidity of routine and shortsightedness creeps in. This quickly becomes stifling and a vicious cycle which leads to nowhere except feeling uninspired and not being able to see the elegance in the everyday. And so back to our skillet cake. No, it did not turn out to be a batch of scones and yes the first incarnation of the batter was, quite frankly a runny, gummy disaster, but I baked it anyway and tasted and what I found was that I loved the flavors and the hearty delicateness of the cake. There was spark of something there, a hit that something more was possible, and so a few tweaks and few more tests and this lovely rhubarb skillet cake became something all its own. 

It’s perfect to use up the glut of rhubarb this time of year and a lovely fluffy breakfast or brunch dish (of course you could serve it with fresh berried and a dollop of cream for dessert too) sort of thing. It comes together incredibly quickly with rather little effort, especially if using a food processor. But, you don’t need one to make it. And as it bakes the smell fills the kitchen and permeates the rooms beyond adding only to the magic of these brightly light spring mornings 

Breakfast Rhubarb Skillet Cake

  • 2C | 250g flour
  • 1/4C | 65g sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 5 TBSP | 74g butter
  • 1 C |150g Rhubarb – sugared with scant 3 Tbsp / 35g
  • 1/2 C + 1T buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • demerara sugar or other course grained sugar for sprinkling over the top plus a Tbsp or so extra buttermilk (optional)
  1. preheat your oven to 425F/ 220C
  2. grease a 9″ pie dish or round baking pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment.
  3. Slice rhubarb stock into 1/4″ or so discs and toss with the 3 T | 35g sugar
  4. in a food processor or large bowl combine the flour, 1/4C|65g sugar, baking powder, butter. Pulse together until the texture of peas and turn out into a large bowl. Do not over work, some chunks of butter is ok. If doing it by hand, rub butter into the flour mixture with the tip of your fingers.
  5. toss the rhubarb with the flour and mix to coat well. make a well at the center of the dry mixture and add in the buttermilk. Stir to combine, then add the egg lightly beaten and vanilla. stir until everything is just combined and turn out the mixture into the baking pan
  6. with the back of a spoon spread mixture evenly in the pan and score crosswise about 6 times
  7. Brush the top with a little extra buttermilk and sprinkle with demerara sugar
  8. Bake 30-35 mins

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