Rhubarb. I grew up with this perennial with strong, tart flavors from my Grandma’s garden. The stalks are generally used in baking and are green, white or red in color and are found in abundance in late April and May. Some people consider them a weed. Some people, like myself, consider them the perfect product for baking. I find that men generally really like rhubarb desserts. Women are kind of known for chocolate and peanut butter in general, but I’d say most men (in my area of ND anyway) love rhubarb. In a jam over ice cream, in a crisp, a pie, bars, cookies, muffins, whatever. Rhubarb is commonly paired with strawberries and they are a match made in heaven.
This dessert is no-hassle. You might already have all the items on hand and you don’t need a mixer. You just need two bowls and one pot. It isn’t an eggy pudding, but more like a cake with it’s own sweet fruit sauce.
My rhubarb was mostly all green. I gave it a bite to see how tart it was. Perfect! You don’t have to dice this super small, but I prefer smaller pieces so it can break down when you cook it on the stove top.
Rhubarb Strawberry Pudding Cake from Rhubarb and Venison blog, with slight changes. For this recipe I made two 8×8 pans. You could alternately make one 13×9 dessert. As she suggests, remember to put a rimmed sheet pan on a lower rack while baking to catch any possible juice spill-over.
1/2 cup water
3 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups chopped rhubarb
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup half and half, room temperature
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter two 8×8 pans or a 13×9 baking dish. Set aside.
Stir together water, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar in a pot, then add rhubarb. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in strawberries. (I did this step the night before and refrigerated the mixture. I took it out the next evening with the eggs and half and half while they all came to room temperature.)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and remaining 1 cup sugar in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, butter, and vanilla. Whisk in flour mixture just until combined.
Reserve 1 cup fruit mixture and pour rest into baking dish(es). Pour batter over fruit, spreading it evenly. Spoon reserved fruit over batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes* with a rimmed sheet pan on a lower rack to catch any juices that may spill over while baking. Serve warm. Alternately, you can wrap tightly and freeze for future eating. Allow dessert to come to room temperature and serve – alone, with whipped cream or ice cream. Cinnamon ice cream would be lovely.
* My two 8×8 pans took closer to 45 minutes to bake. I am thinking because it was two pans? Regardless, use the toothpick inserted into the cake mixture until it comes out clean method.
Place your rhubarb berry mix in the bottom of the pan while reserving some for the topping. Add the dry to the wet mixture and whisk to combine. The batter is a lovely yellow and super tasty.
Dot the top of your bars with the reserved fruit mixture. Bake until it is not wiggly in the middle. Serve warmed with ice cream or alone. Preferably to a man if you have one in your home. He will be happy! Enjoy.