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)
- preheat your oven to 425F/ 220C
- grease a 9″ pie dish or round baking pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment.
- Slice rhubarb stock into 1/4″ or so discs and toss with the 3 T | 35g sugar
- 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.
- 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
- with the back of a spoon spread mixture evenly in the pan and score crosswise about 6 times
- Brush the top with a little extra buttermilk and sprinkle with demerara sugar
- Bake 30-35 mins
“Well thats a sure sign of spring” the woman uttered as, unloading my basket, I handed her a fistful of slender bright pink rhubarb stalks. And its true, rhubarb is perhaps the one thing that emphatically signals the transition into the spring growing season. That, and possibly fiddlehead ferns, the elusive (once wild grown only, now cultivated) foretellers of spring’s arrival in New England. So in fact, my clutch of rhubarb really did warrant the elated, if not somewhat surprised response from the woman at the market.
Rhubarb, I have found, is also one of those items a bit like cilantro, either loved or hated. I fall unequivocally into the yes, can’t get enough rhubarb camp. In sweet or savory (see my rye berry salad with pickled rhubarb here) its equally austere and unique with a flavor that can’t really be nailed down but you know it when you taste it. Eyes closed, I would always know its was rhubarb. continue reading
I live for Rhubarb season. Its always a short window at the edges between spring and summer and, especially in Europe, rhubarb seems to dominate the menu. What I love most about rhubarb is, with a little attention, its austerity transforms into something unique and decadently wonderful.
This recipe is for crumble. A classic that suits the casual nature of summer cooking while yielding sumptuous results. Because of the simpleness of the recipe use only the best quality ingredients & pair with a scoop of the best vanilla ice cream you can find.
Simply put. This recipe is a 1-1-1, mix & bake.
About 10 stalks of the reddest rhubarb. Scrubbed and cut into 3inch chunks
1 pint of strawberries. Hulled & sliced thickly
1 Orange. Juiced & zested
1 cup of sugar.
Mix these ingredients in a bowl & let stand. The sugar is really up to taste. I like mine to retain some of the tartness of the rhubarb. But, I also recommend tasting a small slice of the rhubarb to see how tart or sweet it is. You may need more or less sugar.
For the crust.
1 cup of whole meal flour
1 cup of quick cook oatmeal
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of butter (or a 1/2 pound)
1 tsp of salt
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Dice butter into small cubes and add to dry mixture. Rub butter & dry ingredients together with fingertips until it is combined and forms small pea sized granules. You can also pulse together in a food processor.
Spread Rhubarb mixture evenly over the bott0m of a shallow baking dish. Add topping in an even layer over the mixture. Bake at 350℉ 170℃ for aprox 45 minutes or until top is golden and sides are bubbling.
at each turn of the season there are particular things that i am really excited for- fiddlehead ferns for example and pea tendrils in spring….and rhubarb. im wild about is the first delicate stalks of rhubarb – my most favorite dessert in the world has to be warm rhubarb compote over really good (even preferably homemade) vanilla ice-cream. simple to the point goodness.
i was delighted to stumble across A Sweet Spoonful . Megan is an oakland based food blogger and im dying to try some of her recipes. i love that she is local since that means we will be on the same growing schedule and uses local produce in her recipes! she has recently posted two rhubarb recipes: a rhubarb compote and a gorgeous rustic strawberry rhubarb pie.
megan’s photographs are so inspiring – the rustic pie just might have to be the first thing i make in my new kitchen. do take a look over at a sweet spoonful
all images courtesy of a sweet spoonful