October 1, 2010

Succulent Rhubarb

On a trip to the Byward market on Monday I saw some rhubarb. The stalks were about half the size they were a few months ago, but they were slim and perfect for baking. I couldn’t resist and picked up a few bunches. Immediately came to mind was my Lunar Rhubarb Loaf.

This recipe has been in my collection for a long, long time. In an early summer phone call with my sister our conversation involved rhubarb. She mentioned that she didn’t have a rhubarb loaf recipe, and would love to find one. So of course, like a good big sister, I passed mine along. In its original form, it’s heaven. It’s crumbly, yet doesn’t fall apart. It’s sweet, but not too much.

I can’t take credit for Rhubarb Lunar Loaf as much as I’d like to. It belongs to a woman in Halifax. I worked with a woman many years ago and whenever I had a food dilemma, she’d call her mom. I think it was a good excuse to call home. This recipe is hers and I make it every summer. After going wheatless, I would make it with spelt flour and it was just as wonderful. Since going gluten-free I’ve been using the rice flour mix from Gluten Free Baking Classics (A. Roberts). It is quite nice. It has the same flavour and consistency, but don’t forget to add the guar gum, otherwise the lunar bumps in the top won’t happen.

Lunar Rhubarb Cake
50 minutes Makes 1 loaf
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp Guar gum
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (or yogurt)
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 tsp flour
¼ cup butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla and egg. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with the buttermilk (making 3 dry 2 wet additions). Toss the rhubarb and 1 tsp flour. Spoon into a pan. Blend together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until the cake has risen and browned. Serve hot topped with whipped cream or ice cream.


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