Friday, June 3, 2011

Rhubarb Custard and Crumble Cake

Lucky me, I've been on a mini vacay most of this week.  My favourite band in the whole world, U2, was playing in Edmonton on June 1, and I HAD to be there!  Let's just say that when I'm a little old lady of 95 withering away somewhere, I'll look back on that night and think, holy crap, that was a really, really fantastic show!  This was my third time, and nothing will compare to the first show back in 1997, but it did hold up to my higher than normal expectations.  I've loved them since the summer of 1987, when I was a lonely and bored 14 year old girl, and I played "The Joshua Tree" over and over again on my little pink ghetto.  The music resonates with me, what can I say? I'm afraid my friends might de-friend me if they are bombarded with more photos and videos, and you don't want to hear about U2 do you?  You want to know more about this crazy rhubarb custard and crumble cake!

The other good thing about going back to Edmonton is that I get to catch up with some dear sweet friends, one of whom is Louise.  In late Winter, Louise and I entered into a handmade trade deal.  She is this wonderful knitter who creates beautiful, beautiful things with needles and yarn.  I wanted to be a part of this trade for sure!  I knit, but I never stray too far from the rectangle, and never really follow a pattern. I make pretty scarves and blankets though!  Anyway, I was sure to get the better part of this deal, but I wanted to bring Louise a cake.  The 5.5 hour drive meant that it had to be a cake that would hold up well.  I knew I could keep it in my friend Mel's fridge overnight, at the halfway point of the drive, but it still had to be something with not too much dairy, and for God's sake, no icing.  My car has no air conditioning.  I know, crazy.  Lucky for me, I saw the most amazing Rhubarb cake here, and because she called it Rhubarb Krack, I knew it had to be good!  It's buttery, custardy, and crumbly.  How can this not be good?

So the morning I'm supposed to leave, I'm running around like a crazy person, trying to get this cake in the oven, and because it has a 80 minute baking time, I had to hustle up.  Assembly is really not bad, just a shortbread crust base, lots of chopped rhubarb in the middle, with eggs and sugar whisked and poured over, then a crumble topping.  That's it!  I had bought a brand new spring form pan, and you know how they sometimes leak?  So I am outside, doing some last minute planting and watering and mowing the grass, when I hear the smoke alarm go off.  My whole entire house was smoke filled.  Hooray!  I looked in the oven, expecting a grandiose mess, but it was just some butter wreaking havoc.  No biggie.  Opened all of the windows and it was fine.  The cake really did take about 80 minutes, until it's all golden and gorgeous. 

Because this cake was a gift, I could not cut into it.  You have no idea HOW BADLY I wanted to just sneak a corner, sneak a taste.  But I behaved myself.  The cake arrived to Louise,  unscathed.  So I asked Louise to sum up the taste of the cake:  "The bottom crust reminded me of shortbread.  The whole thing wasn't too sweet, not too sour, a wonderful rhubarb mouthful.  As heavy as the cake is weight wise, it's a surprisingly light dessert, or breakfast.  It's a winner, across the board!"  She also suggested serving it with a side of yogurt, if eating it for breakfast.  I think a side of whipped cream would be pretty amazing too, any time of day!

Rhubarb Custard and Crumble Cake 
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup salted butter, in 1/2 in pieces
7 eggs
8-9 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
2 cups sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, in 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350*F. 
Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a spring form pan. 
In a food processor, pulse 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup butter, 1 egg, until the texture of sand, and it holds together in a clump between your fingers.  Press this in the bottom of your pan.  Top with the chopped rhubarb.  Pan will be full!
Whisk together 6 eggs, and 2 cups of sugar.  Pour this over the rhubarb. 
To make the topping, combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter.  Sprinkle this over the rhubarb.  Bake for 70-80 minutes, until the top is golden. (Like I said, mine did leak a little through the pan, so maybe line the bottom of your oven with foil to prevent a mess.  There was no burnage on the cake, so all was well!)  Let cool, then for best results, refrigerate overnight before taking the bottom and sides off of the pan.  Serve with a side of whipped cream, or yogurt. 
It sounds super delicious, I can't wait to make it again, this time so I can taste it!!!

Oh, wanna see what Louise made me?  She felted handmade soap.  I, know, cool hey?  Bars of delicious smelling soap magically felted with pretty wool.  Perfect for exfoliating, and it smells wonderful.  Thanks Louise!!!


  1. Looks absolutely wonderful. Next time make sure you get a slice!

  2. good deal for both parties, i'd say!

  3. Your cake looks delicious, love the various texture of it. Lucky you getting the soaps...they look really cute. Have a great week Renee :-)


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