A post from last year about rhubarb, which, somehow was temporarily lost when I transferred hosting services. I have not found rhubarb this year in Denmark so far. I am, however, seeing it pop up in pictures in Instagram, from peeps I follow in the U.K. and the States. As a result, I am declaring the 2018 Rhubarb Season officially open!
Measure of Civilisation
I think I have a new measure for a level of civilization, and that is the respect with which a country treats rhubarb.
Great Britain has always been the home of the rhubarb crumble, with rhubarb happily growing in most allotments and many gardens. Americans view rhubarb with some suspicion, and hence it is hard to find in the States. When we lived in Connecticut, we became conditioned to buy rhubarb every time we saw it in the shops. Quite often I would scoop up the entire stock of pink stems, then have to explain at the checkout that I was not buying Swiss Chard. However, in their pioneering way cooks in the USA have worked through their issues by adding strawberries into the mix.
Denmark, however, is clearly top of the class. Not only do they make ‘rabarber’ available all year round in the freezer section, they add it to pastries, yogurt and ice-cream. When it comes into season, you are positively surrounded by its pink.
I was so excited to find it last week at my favorite market Torvehallerne
I bought a big bunch. Alan was so excited to find it in our local Irma he bought two big bunches so this weekend it has been all about the rhubarb. Since I have already been making crumble all winter long, husbands favorite pudding, I wanted to try something different and find a way to really show off the beautiful colors of this early season fruit. The base cake is simply our old friend a Victoria sponge to which I have added a little orange zest and juice. I think ginger would work well too.
Pretty Pink Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Our old friend Victoria Sponge with a hint of orange topped with pretty pink rhubarb
- Rhubarb Topping
- 1lb (440g) rhubarb topped and tailed, sliced length wise
- 5oz (130g)/3/4 cup sugar
- 1oz (25g)/2 TBS butter
- 8oz self-raising flour (220g) /13/4 cups or 8oz cake flour (220g)/13/4 cups with 2 tsp baking powder
- 8oz butter (220g) /2 sticks at room temperature, needs to soft
- 8oz sugar (220g)/11/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
- Zest of one orange, plus 1TSP juice
- 2-3 tbs milk
- To Serve
- Leftover rhubarb from top
- handful of cut strawberries
- creme fraiche
- Step 1 Pre-Heat oven to 370F/180C
- Step 2 Line a 9inch springform tin with parchment paper.
- Step 3 For the Topping
- Step 4 Melt butter and sugar in large frying pan wide enough to take the long strips of rhubarb.
- Step 5 Add the prepared rhubarb and cook gently for about five minutes.
- Step 6 Cutting the rhubarb to size line the bottom on the springform tin making sure the pink side of the rhubarb is facing out, i.e. presentation side.Add a little of the liquid and reserve the leftover rhubarb and liquid for the compote.
- Step 7 To make the cake
- Step 8 Add all ingredients for the cake to a large mixing bowl and beat until you have a smooth mixture.
- Step 9 Add to the top of the rhubarb and bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes.
- Step 10 Cake is ready when it is golden brown, risen and spring back slightly when touched.
- Step 11 Cool in tin.
- Step 12 When cool turn on to a plate and release from tin.
- Step 13 Compote
- Step 14 Add strawberries to reserved rhubarb and liquid and cook briefly for around five minutes.
- Step 15 To serve
- Step 16 Serve cake warm or room temperature with compote and creme fraiche