Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Cake

This morning's breakfast was a leap of faith. I studied my favorite classic Crumb Cake recipe (from Joy of Cooking) and revisited Mom's German Coffee Cake recipe, determined to incorporate at least a bit of the strawberries and rhubarb I picked up recently, in a fit of summer longing at the grocery store.

The resulting dessert-disquised-as-breakfast is a real winner. The trick is to check on it every few minutes toward the end of cooking: You want a toasty-brown top and, more importantly, a cooked center. Mine needed 43 minutes, but my oven runs cool. A better oven may do it in 35-40.

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb (about 2 medium-length stalks)
2 c. chopped, fresh strawberries
1 tsp. minced, fresh ginger

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 9"x13" glass baking dish.

Combine the first three ingredients in one bowl and set aside.

Whisk together dry ingredients.

Whisk together wet ingredients in another bowl. Gently toss fruit with the dry ingredients, then fold together wet and dry. Drop the batter in dollops into the prepared pan, smooth the top a bit, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, using your fingers or a fork, mix together:

1 c. flour
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used sliced almonds)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Pour over this, 1/3 c. melted butter (5 1/3 TB). Toss together with a rubber spatula, until clumps form. Sprinkle over the batter in prepared pan.

Center "crumb" peeled aside to check done-ness.
Bake 35-45 minutes: The top should be golden brown -- darker in a few spots, and the center should not jiggle (maybe just the tiniest bit), when you take it out. Test the doneness of the center by pulling aside a "crumb" with a toothpick to see if it's still dough-y underneath. Let it set/cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving for breakfast... or with ice cream for dessert!

UPDATE: I was worried the moisture in the fruit would make this dish soggy by day 2, but no -- Leftovers for breakfast this morning were quite good! (Stored in the baking dish, covered.)

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