Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Rhubarb

My neighbor's rhubarb, none the worse for wear after I cut about a pound out of it.
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My neighbor's rhubarb, none the worse for wear after I cut about a pound out of it.
My neighbor’s rhubarb, none the worse for wear after I cut about a pound out of it.

But I do. It’s beautiful.

At least he knows what it is now. Unlike last year, when I…uh…kinda stole rhubarb for strawberry rhubarb custard pie, this year I asked if I could have some. Rather urgently too, as I watched his sister waving a weed-whacker around the yard, clearly in that dangerous phase of a yard work novice.

I made the menfolk the custard pie (also see this post), and still had some frozen strawberries from last year and some of the neighbor’s rhubarb….and the internet is a wonderful thing for recipes.

Take your Lipitor before consuming, though.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake  

A peek at the filling, but the cake itself is proof that butter can be used for good, not evil
A peek at the filling, but the cake itself is proof that butter can be used for good, not evil

Delicious Filling
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups chopped rhubarb
10 oz frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Delicious Cake

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cold butter
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Delicious Crumb Topping*
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

* I actually used leftover crumb topping from the pie, which had flour, brown sugar and oatmeal in it.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking dish (I used a tube pan, stupidly forgetting that the idea is to invert it – which doesn’t work too well with a crumb topping. But it did all work out in the end)

Combine sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan; stir in rhubarb and strawberries and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and let cool.

In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in butter until  you get crumbs. In separate bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into flour until just moistened. Batter will be very thick and lumpy!

Spoon about two-thirds of the batter into pan, then spread on the filling (I had more than I needed). Cover with remaining batter – you might not get fill coverage but don’t worry about that.

In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour, and cut in butter until  you have crumbs, then sprinkle crumb topping over the batter.

Bake until topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

The recipe, in its original form.

About Rebecca Foster 62 Articles
Rebecca Foster writes about food, politics, books and whatever has irritated her on any particular day, on her website Usual and Ordinary (www.usualandordinary.com). She is an occasional contributor to The Livingston Post and has remained active in local politics and the community after serving as Pinckney Village President from 2004-2012. She lives in Pinckney with her husband, two sons, two cats and four chickens - and a good sense of humor.