Rhubarb Pudding Cake

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If I didn’t have your attention after “Rhubarb” or “Rhubarb Pudding Cake”, could I get some eye contact if I add “Warm Butter Sauce”?

Thought so.

Rhubarb is one of those fruits that people are often hesitant to try. It is tart. Some would say it is sour. It is. I love that. Often it is paired with strawberries to take some of the bite out of it. It is a great combination but I would much prefer the rhubarb to do a solo. Well, maybe a duet with a reasonable amount of sugar!

I have so many rhubarb recipes and only two rhubarb plants in my garden. That’s a problem. I never have enough to make all of the crisp, scones, pie, cobbler, jam, muffins or tortes that I want, let alone trying any NEW recipes. The light but steady rains and mild temperatures that we’ve had this week should make it grow quickly.

I am almost as fussy about my rhubarb as I am my sweet corn. Cooking shows often use really thick stalks and the chefs peel the rhubarb before chopping it. I try to cut the stalks before they get more than one inch wide. It is much more tender and even though it is tart, it isn’t bitter. And, not having to peel it allows it to keep that pretty pink/red color!

A final piece of information on rhubarb? The leaves are poisonous. So even though the picture above shows me cutting the stalks, I do discard the leaves. It was just so pretty for the picture!

Rhubarb Pudding Cake

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk*)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 – 2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 drops almond extract or 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

*Sour milk can be made by stirring 1 teaspoon of vinegar into 1 cup milk.

In a mixer, blend 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup of sugar and egg until smooth. Blend in buttermilk until well incorporated. Sift/stir together salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Gently blend dry ingredients into buttermilk mixture. Fold rhubarb into batter by hand. Pour into a greased 8″x11″ glass pan or two 8″ square pans. 

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of softened butter, 1/2 cup of sugar and almond extract or almonds. Sprinkle mixture over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until center of cake is set and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Warm Butter Sauce

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in saucepan; add sugar and evaporated milk, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a low boil and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. 

Drizzle one or two tablespoons of the warm sauce over each piece of cake when serving.

Makes 12 reasonable servings or 8 “this is the first rhubarb dessert we’ve had this year” servings.

It looks like I can pick more tomorrow.

Scones or pie?

What a dilemma.


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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

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