Monday, June 29, 2015

Hon's Rhubarb Coffee Cake

My grandmother (Hon) and mother started making this coffee cake with rhubarb after they moved to Alaska from California. Rhubarb was nothing they had really ever used in cooking or baking before, but the abundance of this bountiful plant quickly worked its way into their new Alaskan kitchen. This is a moist, flavorful coffee cake with a walnut streusel topping. You can also add a drizzle of powdered sugar icing on top if you like. Frickin' delicious, I have to say. ~Patti
2 generous cups rhubarb, cleaned and medium dice
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
2 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup sour cream

¾ cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease (with butter) and flour pan – tap out any excess flour.

Whisk together flour, salt, soda. Set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar. I used the kitchen aid paddle attachment. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream, mix well.

Add flour mixture and mix about 2 minutes, then add rhubarb. Mix just until incorporated. This is a smooth, somewhat fluffy batter, resembling frosting. Quite dense.

Pour into prepared 9 x 13 or 9” springform. I've used both, just depends on your mood. Sprinkle entire top with streusel, patting down ever so gently.

To make the streusel, combine butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts and flour - you can use a paddle attachment on your kitchen aid, or simply use your hands and break the butter up and combine until it looks like...streusel :)

Bake about 50-55 minutes. Center should be firm, toothpick comes out clean and it is a deep, delicious golden brown.

If using 9 x 13, let cool completely, then cut and transfer to serving plate or a container you can cover properly. The cake can keep at room temperature for several days (it is quite possibly even better the next day... although I can't tell you how it tastes after the next day. I've never had one last that long :)

If using springform, let cool 10 minutes, then remove side (run a knife around edge first just to make sure it is loosened). Let it continue to cool and remove from springform base when you can handle the cake. Let it cool completely on a rack, cover when completely cooled I like the plastic domed cake covers. 

Did you know...

Rhubarb is big – really big – in Alaska. Rhubarb is a cold-weather plant, and it will grow back every year for a decade or so, when treated properly. While rhubarb is grown over much of the northern U.S. from Maine to Oregon, it has a special place in the hearts of Alaskans. That’s because the few long days of summer sun there help rhubarb grow to five feet or more. In the early 20th century, Henry Clark of Skagway, Alaska, was known as the Rhubarb King. His crop provided vitamins, fiber, and flavor to Klondike gold rush hopefuls who had few other options for fresh produce.

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