Happy 4th of July! Always a fun weekend of friends, family, festivities and of course, fabulous food. The past few years I’ve celebrated by making a cherry-themed dessert; usually this is when I first see sour cherries at the farmers’ market and can’t wait to play with them. This year, the growing season is a bit behind schedule so while there weren’t any sour cherries to be found, the rhubarb was still going strong.
I’ve actually baked with rhubarb more this year than I ever have before. It’s been a recurring item in my CSA (community supported agriculture from Harvest Moon Farms) for three weeks running, not to mention the two weeks prior that I bought rhubarb at the market.
With all that rhubarb, I’ve almost run out of things to do with it. I made a rhubarb cake-pie, rhubarb tart and roasted rhubarb, and then finally this week a strawberry rhubarb buckle.
I used my favorite white peach and blueberry buckle recipe as a base but used strawberries, rhubarb and ginger as the main ingredients. Strawberries and rhubarb are classic combination, and the two types of ginger (ground and crystallized) add a bit of a kick to the buckle and help soften both the tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the batter. If you’re not a ginger fan, go ahead and cut back the amounts a bit, but I’d still recommend leaving some in for a fun contrast in flavors.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Buckle – makes one 8-inch buckle
6 oz fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 still unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced strawberries
Roasted rhubarb (above)
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
To prepare the rhubarb:Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the rhubarb with sugar and arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a Silpat. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
To make the buckle batter: Begin by preheating the oven to 375°F and coat an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat the butter in a mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat 1 minute, then add the egg. Beat 1 minute longer until well-combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat, then add 1/3 of the milk. Continue alternating until the dry ingredients, milk and vanilla have been well-combined. Stir in the strawberries and mix until just incorporated.
Spoon half the batter into the prepared baking dish; use your fingers, the batter will be sticky. Arrange the roasted rhubarb in an even layer and top with lemon juice. Arrange the remaining batter in an even layer over the rhubarb.
To make the topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and use your fingertips to mix until it takes on the texture of coarse meal. Scatter evenly over the buckle batter.
Bake the buckle at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve at room temperature.