We are leaving for Maine in 20 minutes to visit our dear friends from grad school (Yay
lobster old friends!), but I need to post this cake because I've made it 3 times in a week. It is the perfect thing to make after you've been trolling around shamelessly for a dinner invitation ("If only we had dinner plans! Alas, alack!") and then your friends says, "Can you come to dinner? Bring dessert." Why yes! Yes we can. It's in and out of the oven in well under an hour. And you can use up whatever gleanings of strawberries and rhubarb are loitering unattractively in your garden, refrigerator, or grocery store--you don't even need as much fruit as you'd expect. Oh, and it's fantastic. Warm and soft, sweet and fruity and tangy and comfortingly cake-like. If you had a grandma who baked cakes, she would bake this cake.
Okay, before I go, I have to say: the blog name suggestions are killing me with their hilariousness and grace. Thank you for being you. "Half as much table salt" made me laugh so hard. But then does it sound, misleadingly, like a low-sodium recipe blog? Because, um, it's not. So I thought, Oh, I could call it Twice as Much Kosher Salt--but then it sounds like a weird Jewy salt blog. Which, um, I guess it kind of is. Weird Jewy Salt Blog! But then again, I was the person holding a newborn who was like, "Is it okay that Ben rhymes with pig pen? Are kids going to tease him?" If you have further thoughts, please keep them coming, and we'll discuss when we're all back in the same place.
The road calls. Tina Fey on the ipod! Amazon is having some kind of promotion where you can get 2 free audio books for testing a special books-on-tape site free for 30 days. Have a wonderful week!
p.s. Cooking with Ben/Birdy at ChopChop will resume next week. . .
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pudding Cake
We've gotten as many as 9 servings out of this, but 6 is better.
Active time: 15 minutes; total time: 40 minutes
Adapted (barely) from Gourmet magazine. This has the spirit of a one bowl cake--even though it's two bowls and a pot. Also, it's not a pudding cake in that eggy way, where there's something custardish lurking at the bottom of the dish--it's more that the cake makes it's own fruity sauce.
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb stalks
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (mine is salted), melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the oven to 400°F. Butter an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.
Stir together the water, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan, then stir in the rhubarb. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, then simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the strawberries
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.
Whisk together the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl, then whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.
Reserve 1/2 cup or so of the fruit mixture, then pour the remainder to the baking dish, tilting to spread it out, and then glop the batter over it, spreading as evenly as you can without disrupting the fruit too much. Drizzle the reserved fruit mixture over the batter. Bake in the middle of the oven until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake portion comes out clean (I just press the top with my fingertip and take it out when it feels springy), 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes (or up to a few hours) before serving. Serve with, ideally, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
|I'm running out the door! I don't have time for photo captions.|
|But then the photos just seem so plain and boring without them.|
|And what if you weren't able to figure out on your own that this was rhubarb in a pot?|
|And that this showed the strawberries added in?|