You can’t eat rhubarb without strawberries. Sorry. That’s just the way it is. I don’t make the rules; somebody else does. In fact, June 9th has been designated National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day. Check your office calendar; you might actually have the day off.
Growing up on the East Coast, I remember going over my great aunt Pauline’s, where she grew rhubarb along the side of her house. I also remember eating it raw, and scrunching my face up in satisfaction at its impossibly tart flavor. I loved it as a kid, and I still love it as an adult (but not raw, thanks). Just writing about eating raw rhubarb makes my teeth ache (of course it might just be my new whitening toothpaste).
I also remember carrying home bundles of rhubarb that my mom would transform into mouth-watering desserts, of which my family’s favorite was strawberry-rhubarb pie. There was always an exciting anticipation watching my mom roll out the dough, stew the fruit, and make the perfect lattice topping with sparkly sugar crystals on top. Although I would haved treasured a piece, I knew that I didn't have the time this weekend to make one. So, I settled on this easy-to-make, delicious-to-eat strawberry rhubarb sponge pudding.
Though California reigns supreme with many types of produce, it doesn’t offer a lot of tasty rhubarb. In fact, I have never seen it at the farmers’ market. So, I bought some at the supermarket. Though it tasted good, it lacked the crispness that is characteristic of freshly cut rhubarb from home.
Here is Jill Dupleix’s recipe for Rhubarb Sponge Pudding that was featured in the May 2007 issue of Bon Appetit. The only change I made to the recipe was adding strawberries, so I added it to the name as well. It was simple to make and had just the right sweet-tart combination I was desiring. I definitely recommend serving it with softly whipped cream, which cuts the richness of the cakey topping and adds a light, creamy smoothness to the texture. I would also recommend making it in two smaller baking dishes if you want to post on it. That way one can remain intact, and you can eat the other as you go. Not that I would ever do such a thing.
I’m submitting this to Meeta, the birthday girl, who has chosen "Big Birthday Bang!" for her Monthy Mingle. Children and adults would like this dessert, and it could be served in one large dish or in individual dishes.
Since June is also the beginning of swimwear season, you could lighten this recipe, by substituting Splenda for the sugar, Smart Balance for the butter, and low-fat milk for the whole milk. Then, you won’t have to worry about how you look in your birthday suit.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sponge Pudding
Print recipe only here.
1 1/3 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths (about 5 cups)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
6 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
Softly whipped cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 11x7x2-inch baking dish. Place rhubarb pieces and berries in baking dish in even layer. Scatter brown sugar over and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water.
Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Fold in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, mixing just to blend after each addition. Spoon batter over rhubarb, smoothing top to cover.
Bake dessert until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Serve warm with softly whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.
Finally, if you really want to bake a pie, then check out Elise's beautiful rhubarb-berry pie with instructions for creating the perfect lattice-top pie crust.
Save This Page on Del.icio.us