Friday, 11 June 2010

Rhubarb Coffee Cake, Rhubarb Lemonade, and Apologies Again

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I’ve been bad.  I’ve been eating too much sugar, working too little on my book, and worst of all wasting too much time online gawking at other people’s food blogs and not spending enough time working on my own.  But I’m back now, having been for a whirlwind week in New York with my bf and 'rentals, and with a brand new camera to play with!*  I've also gotten my first big book deadline under my belt, and I’m celebrating with all things rhubarb!

I’ve always wanted to bake with rhubarb, but it’s always intimidated me.  So stalky and hard… requiring chopping and boiling and mushing and all manner of dish-creating, time-consuming efforts!  I thought I had rhubarb’s number, and I’d decided it was too long to memorize (just bear with me- it’s been a long week). 

Boy, did I have rhubarb figured all wrong.  This deliciously tart fruit/veg/thingy is so not hard to work with.  In fact, in a lot of ways, it’s easier than its juicier counterparts (and neater for sure).  The coffee cake doesn’t require any pre-boiling/mushing/etc, and this rhubarb-lemon syrup is a snap, and pretty much a one pot one bowl exercise.  So what are you waiting for?  There’s not much time left in rhubarb season!

*It's a Canon Rebel XSi, which I got refurbished for a very decent price, and I adore it.  After this post, the photos should get a lot more impressive.  If only I can figure out how to take great pictures now that I have the tools...


Rhubarb Coffee Cake (from Allrecipes):

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

In a large bowl, cream together:
     1/2 cup butter
     1 1/2 cups white sugar
     1 egg
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift together:
     2 cups all-purpose flour
     1 teaspoon baking soda
     1/4 teaspoon salt
Add to dry ingredients to egg mixture, alternating with:
     1 cup buttermilk (or 1c milk with a splash of lemon juice to curdle it)
Combine, then stir into batter:
     2 cups rhubarb
     1 tablespoon flour
Spoon batter into buttered 9x13 pan and smooth surface.
Combine and sprinkle over batter:
     1/4 cup butter
     2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
     1 cup packed brown sugar
Bake for 45 minutes, then let cool (ha) before attempting to eat!

Rhubarb Lemonade (from Allrecipes):

Combine in a large saucepan and bring to a boil:
     8 cups chopped rhubarb
     3 cups white sugar
     3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is broken down, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add:
     1.5 cups lemon juice
Press the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing out as many of the rhubarb pieces as possible.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To serve, mix 1 cup syrup with 3 cups water and pour over ice.  If you're feeling fancy, add frozen raspberries!!

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