Lovely for breakfast, brunch, a picnic, although my favorite way to eat this handheld edible definition of Spring is as an afternoon snack, reading stories together, with cup of tea.
For the strawberry rhubarb filling: 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1 pound strawberries 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch zest of one lemon
For the crumbs: 2/3 cup brown sugar 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup or 8oz butter, melted 3 cups flour
For the cake: 2/3 cup full fat plain yogurt or sour cream 2 large eggs 2 large egg yolks 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) softened butter, cut into pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch-baking pan and line with parchment paper. For the filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and zest. Set aside for about 20 min, roughly the time to finish up the remaining steps. The rhubarb is tougher than the strawberries so this bit just allows them to breakdown a bit in the sugar. You'll add the strawberries just before filling the cake.
2. To make the crumbs in a large bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look and feel like almost like a solid dough. It's ok, Leave it pressed together in the bottom of the bowl and set aside.
3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of yogurt mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for about 30 seconds. Add remaining yogurt mixture in two batches, beating for just a moment after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula.
4. Cut the strawberries into chunks about the same size as the rhubarb and add them to the fruit mixture, stirring gently to coat and evenly distribute the berries into the rhubarb.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon fruit mixture over the batter, then add the crumb mixture and pat down gently into the fruit. It may look a bit wet and sloppy before adding the crumb, do not worry. As it bakes the crumb will absorb any extra liquid and the batter produces a lovely moist, rich cake, that is surprisingly light and not dense.
5. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
As the center has quiet a lot of fruit, allow it to cool completely before serving. This allows the fruit filling to set fully, and will prevent any burns as the cake will cool faster than the fruit.
Makes 8-10 generous portions
The book on the counter happens to be one of my all time favorite picture books, simply because its hysterical and so fun to read aloud with different accents and tones. There are books for many purposes, some poetic, some with little life lessons, some just for laughs, to find that magic within the text and pictures. It is called The Interrupting Chicken by David Stein. Please read it aloud to the little ones in your life, with extra personality and joy. Will it teach them anything worthy? Unlikely. Will you both laugh a lot, yes! The artwork is by Brian Andreas of Flying Edna.