SMiLes by Meg

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake

This week we went to Cate and Jonathan’s house for the first time since moving to DC! It’s wild that the pandemic has meant that I’ve been here for 9 months without getting to just have dinner inside with friends, but now that we’re all vaccinated, we’re making up for lost time.

When Cate tasked me with dessert, I wanted to make something a bit more elaborate than I’ve been making recently, and I wanted that thing to be out of an Ottolenghi book, since Cate is the one who introduced me to his restaurants/recipes.

I picked three options and asked Erik to choose between them, and he didn’t even let me get past saying “strawberry rhubarb crumble cake” as the first option before he said that was the one he wanted.

Fortunately, it was also the easiest of the three.

To start, make the crumble in a large bowl. Mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, flower, shredded coconut and salt with a wooden spoon until well-combined and pebbly. Set aside.

Next, prepare the fruit. In a medium bowl, stir together the rhubarb, strawberries, brown suga, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla seeds and salt with a rubber spatula. Set aside.

Finally, make the cake. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking power, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients all at once. Beat until just combined.

Scrape the batter into a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top.

Spoon the fruit mixture evenly over the cake batter.

Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top of the fruit.

Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for about 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs only. About 20 to 30 minutes before the baking time is up, check on the topping – if it’s getting really brown, cover with tin foil for the remaining time.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Then, remove and serve.

Erik says this doesn’t really qualify as a fruit dessert, given the cake to fruit to topping ratio, but I think if there is any fruit at all in a dessert, it’s a fruit dessert.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Ingredients:

Crumble

  • 8 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Fruit

  • 9 ounces rhubarb (2-3 medium stalks), cut into 1/3 inch slices
  • 9 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • scraped seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (220 grams) confections sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. First, make the crumble. In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter, light brown sugar, flour, coconut and salt. Set aside.
  2. Next, make the fruit. In a medium bowl, stir together the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla seeds, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Finally, prepare the cake. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  6. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  7. Add all of the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  8. Scrape the batter into a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top.
  9. Spoon the fruit over the cake batter in an even layer. Sprinkle the crumble over the fruit.
  10. Bake at 400°F for 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. About 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, check on the topping – if it’s really brown, put some tin foil over the top to prevent burning.
  11. Allow to cool completely in the springform pan before removing to serve.

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