Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Strawberry, Meet Rhubarb. Rhubarb, this is Strawberry.
I think that whomever it was that introduced these two should stand up and take a bow. What a beautiful working relationship they have. The sweet strawberries compliment and balance the tart astringent rhubarb. The two are just perfect for each other. While I do enjoy these baked together in a bubbling pie, my favorite way to have them is baked on top of a simple cake base. This is my Grandmother's Kuchen. It works well with any ripe fruit baked on top, but the strawberry and rhubarb remind me of summer days spent playing hide and seek in her backyard with my sisters. We'd go inside to cool off and sometimes we were lucky enough to have the kuchen as a snack, although more often it was served as a dessert. It's wonderful on it's own, but also lends itself well to a dollup of whipped cream.
Gram Danning's Fruit Kuchen: (makes one 9x9" square cake pan, or one 9" cake round)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk, I am using buttermilk in mine)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
sliced ripe fruit of your choice to cover the top of the batter (peaches, apricots, plums, strawberries, rhubarb, most fruits work very well with this)
cinnamon and sugar mix to cover the fruit
4 tbsp of butter to dot
-Heat oven to 350f.
-Cream together the butter and sugar, add the egg and mix to blend.
-Add the milk, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just blended.
-Spread the mixture into a greased 9x9 inch cake pan (or cake round or I used a 9" tart pan) and top with the ripe fruit. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the top (can be generous or light with this, depends on the ripeness of the fruit....I used a bit more today because of the tartness of the rhubarb). Dot the top of everything with the 4 Tbsp of butter.
-Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is done and the fruit is bubbly.
-Cool and enjoy!