Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

I've had this recipe bookmarked ever since I got the May issue of Martha Stewart Living. Rhubarb made it's first appearance at the farmer's market this week and I immediately thought of this cake when I picked up a pound of some beautiful organic rhubarb early Saturday morning. I feel lucky to live in the city with the country's largest producer-only farmer's market every time I go there and love letting what is available there dictate most of my meal plan for the week.

As much as I like rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb pie, I would pick this cake over pie any day. I love the soft, tart layer of rhubarb on top that melts into a dense, buttery cake on the bottom, ending with a satisfying crunch of streusel-like crust. It goes great with a cup of tea or coffee or makes a great dessert on its own.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
from Martha Stewart Living, May 2010

makes one 9-inch cake, serving 10

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
Coarse salt
1/2 t. finely grated orange zest plus 1 T. fresh orange juice
2 large eggs
1 c. sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly.

2. Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Dot with 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces). Toss rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar; let stand for 2 minutes. Toss again, and spread in pan.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Beat remaining stick butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread evenly over rhubarb. Crumble topping evenly over batter.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

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