Lately, I started seeing a lot of rhubarb in the markets and then in dessert dishes at restaurants and bakeries around town.
Rhubarb is always a mystery to me because it’s one of the few vegetables that make their way straight to a sweet dish more often than a savory one. And with its pretty pink color, rhubarb makes any dish look sophisticated and beautiful.
I called this post “rhubarb via Oregon” not because the rhubarb came from Oregon (I got it locally in Oakland) but because I used a recipe from the “Dishing Up Oregon” cookbook that I got from my sister for Christmas. (My sister recently moved back to Portland and one of her ways of enticing me to visit was this cookbook of seasonal dishes from Oregon chefs.)
This rhubarb buckle recipe comes from Pastry Chef Steve Bouton of Belly restaurant. What makes it unique is that he used candied ginger bits in the crumb that tops the buckle, creating a brilliant subtle flavor-mixture of the tart rhubarb and sweet tangy ginger. This recipe was simple to follow and my buckle turned out ahhhhh-mazing. I like the simplicity of this recipe so much that I’m looking forward to peach season because peach and ginger are another classic combination that I’m looking forward to try.
I’ve reprinted Bouton’s recipe below because I love it so much I think you all should make it (especially for this holiday weekend, perfect for a brunch or picnic at the beach). Enjoy!
Rhubarb Buckle with Candied Ginger Crumb Recipe
Excerpted from “Dishing Up Oregon” (Storey Publishing, 2011)
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Candied Ginger Crumb:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 t ground ginger
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 T buttermilk
3/4 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 2 cups)
Make the candied ginger crumb: Mix the flour, sugar, and candied ginger together in a small bowl. Mix in the melted butter with a fork until crumbly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.
Make the buckle: Whisk the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Add the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the buttermilk, on medium speed until just combined. Gently fold in the rhubarb with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the candied ginger crumb evenly over the top. Bake the cake until the top is golden and firm, about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before serving.
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