On Monday I featured a drink made with strawberry-rhubarb syrup and talked about how this is one of the quintessential flavour combinations of late June/July here in Ontario. In fact, not long after local asparagus arrives in the market strawberries and rhubarb show up to start the avalanche of fresh fruits and veggies.
For our Canada Day dessert I could have served the leftover cake from Paul's birthday:
In the end I made a cobbler cake.
What is a cobbler cake?
Those dessert lovers out there know that a cobbler is a biscuit-topped fruit dessert. This isn’t far off… as it bakes, the fruit sinks down into the cake batter like your head into a soft, overstuffed pillow. Of course, since I used the wrong sized pan our fruit didn't sink down as much as it should have because the cake layer was just too darn thick.
This is my favorite kind of cake recipe – the sort that can be made with any type of fruit that happens to be at its peak; this would be fabulous with peaches, nectarines, plums, or all kinds of berries, fresh or frozen… it brings out the best in any of them. Flavour the cake itself with grated orange or lemon zest, if you like, or add a shake of cinnamon. Omit the sugar scattered over top if the fruit you choose is sweet enough – rhubarb tends to need a little help.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler Cake
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups halved or quartered strawberries (depending on their size)
2-3 cups chopped rhubarb (about 2-3 stalks)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined and starting to get fluffly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each, then beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir by hand or beat on low speed just until combined; the batter will be thick. Spread into a 9″x13″ pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and scatter the fruit over top. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake is golden and the cakey parts springy to the touch.
Makes 1 big cake – feeds lots