Rhubarb-blueberry coffee cake

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One night a couple of weeks ago Hubby noticed I was depressed because I’d finished reading my book and had no other books to read (that I wanted to).  So he took pity on me and drove me to the library.  I had a list of 5 books I wanted to check out, so it took me less than 10 minutes to grab my books and get out the door.  As soon as I got home and settled in on the couch, with my pillow and afghan, in front of a nice, cozy fire, I was as content as one could be recovering from surgery.

One of the books I checked out was a cookbook that focuses on local, seasonal eating.  It is called The Locavore’s Kitchen, by Marilou Suszko.  I found recipe after recipe that I wanted to make, and I decided that this was a book I needed to own, so I found a used copy on Amazon.com for $0.63 and bought that sucker right then and there.  One of the recipes in the book is for a rhubarb coffee cake.  I have about 2 gallons of frozen rhubarb in my freezer that I have been pondering how to use, so this recipe seemed not only delicious, but timely.  And, I mean, it’s coffee cake.  Who doesn’t love coffee cake?

Mmmmm, coffee cake.  How I love coffee cake, yet…I rarely make it.  Well, this recipe is a game-changer for me.  I will be making this coffee cake again…and often.  I decided that I wanted to add some more fruity flavor to my coffee cake, so I decided to try substituting some frozen wild blueberries for some of the rhubarb.  And I have decided that this was a very good idea.  The blueberries added a nice sweet offset to the tartness of the rhubarb.  Next time I will try cherries, then raspberries, as I have loads of both in my freezer.

Also, in case you are wondering why there are no blobs of red in my coffee cake, I grow Victoria, which is a predominantly green variety (though I did get some redder stalks in the fall).  Victoria is a bit tart for some people’s tastes, but I love it.

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Rhubarb-blueberry coffee cake (Adapted from The Locavore’s Kitchen cookbook)

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb, about 1/2 inch pieces (if frozen, do not thaw)

1/2 cup blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Topping:

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Mix the brown sugar and vegetable oil together in a large mixing bowl.  Add the egg and mix until smooth.  Add the buttermilk, flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract.  Mix until all ingredients are just moistened.  Add the rhubarb, blueberries, and walnuts and gently fold into the batter.  Pour the batter into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Mix together all the ingredients for the topping and crumble over the top of the batter.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the edges begin to brown and pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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