Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pudding Cake: Easier than Pie!

I haven’t posted a recipe for quite a while, so here’s one I’ve made twice already in the past three weeks, taking advantage of rhubarb and strawberry season. Even if you think you can’t make cake, you can definitely make this cake. It’s super-easy, super-fast, and super-delicious. (After the fresh strawberries and rhubarb have marched on into happy memories, the cake can be made with blueberries, peaches, raspberries: “Any ripe, luscious fruit.”)

From Gourmet Today, edited by Ruth Reichel.
(Check out the mouth-watering picture here.)

Rhubarb Strawberry Pudding Cake
Serves 6 to 8 (breakfast or dessert)

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb stalks (10 oz)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (5 oz)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk [I used a mix of half-and-half and skim milk]
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Butter an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. [I used Pam.]

Stir together water, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan, then stir in rhubarb. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, then simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl.

Whisk together egg, milk, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Reserve 1/2 cup fruit mixture, then add remainder to baking dish and pour batter over it, spreading evenly. Drizzle reserved 1/2 cup fruit mixture over batter. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake portion comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes before serving.

Here are directions for blueberries (which I haven’t yet tried): Substitute 2 cups (10 oz) blueberries for the rhubarb and strawberries. Reduce the cornstarch to 1 teaspoon and add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice to the cornstarch mixture.

Sigh. I still miss Gourmet magazine....


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