Rhubarb pie is one of my husband Scott’s favorite desserts. It was one of his grandmother’s specialties and as many as I have made and as much as he’s enjoyed them I don’t think they can ever quite compare. I’ve experimented with a few other rhubarb recipes but before now have never found anything that could compete.
I was very much in luck for this recipe since my local farmer’s market had rhubarb. My grocery stores carry rhubarb but it is almost always in bad shape. Luck was with me and I hit the season just right for this recipe.
As much as I’ve tinkered with rhubarb I’ve never peeled it before. I was pretty nervous but it wound up being incredibly easy and I think I’m going to use this trick going forward.
The recipe suggests saving the sugar that results from sugaring the rhubarb and I did just that. It was pretty nice with a little champagne. I wish I had thought ahead to try a few mixed drinks-maybe next time.
Once the rhubarb is soft it goes into the top of the pan. I was definitely on the verge of having my rhubarb go to mush but saved it in time and it held together great in the pan.
The recipe suggested the zest of an orange as an optional ingredient. I went for it and loved the resulting flavor in the cake but it was so distinctive i couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like without it. Almost like a different cake entirely I imagine.
Once the batter is mixed up is goes on top of the cooked rhubarb and into the oven.
Now for the scary part: flipping the cake onto the platter. I was so lucky that it came right out for the most part and I only had a few tiny pieces of rhubarb to put back on top.
The cake smelled amazing with lovely rhubarb steam coming off but it definitely needed a touch of jelly. I couldn’t find any that were suggested but I figured strawberry was a classic accompanying taste and would give it some lovely red color.
The final product wasn’t so impressive on it’s own but once some whipped cream and strawberries were added it had the extra oomph it needed.
The resulting cake was very interesting. Somewhat of a sweet and sour play that felt just right with our warm weather. As much as I enjoyed this cake I will save making it again until I can find fresh rhubarb again at my market. The rhubarb is such a star in this I feel like it begs for the best quality.