There are a couple of ways I can tell when rhubarb is in season. And neither involves taking a walk in my back yard.
First, my friend, Wayne Knain, starts talking about rhubarb sauce and the like, when we’re exercising together. The other is when I start getting e-mails at work from Ann Bailey that’s she has some tasty thing she’s made with rhubarb at her desk to share. Ann, who writes features for several of our advertising publications, always is making wonderful desserts, and her lucky co-workers often are the beneficiaries. Her most recent offering was a strawberry-rhubarb coffeecake.
Speaking of rhubarb coffeecakes, Therese made a good one this weekend, which she shared with my mom, stepdaughter and grandson. When asked if he wanted a piece, Rakeem declined. After he was told it didn’t contain coffee, he took a piece and thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the rest of us.
Here’s another rhubarb coffeecake recipe that I came across recently as well as one for Rhubarb-Coconut Glories. And as Ann Bailey says in her e-mails, you’re welcome to help yourself.
Sour Cream-Rhubarb Coffeecake
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup solid shortening
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1½ cups rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
To prepare topping: Combine granulated sugar, melted butter, macadamia nuts, coconut and cinnamon with clean fingers until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
To prepare batter: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and shortening together until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add dry mixture alternately with sour cream to sugar mixture, beating 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat about 10 seconds to blend. Stir in the rhubarb.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle topping evenly over the batter. Bake on center oven rack about 45 to 50 minutes. Test in the center of the cake with a toothpick. It should have just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely before cutting.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 405 calories, 3.96 grams protein, 20 grams fat (7.28 grams saturated), 54.45 grams carbohydrates, 249 milligrams sodium, 31.14 milligrams cholesterol.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
1¼ cups sugar, divided
½ cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup finely diced rhubarb
½ cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
For a crust, mix together 1 cup flour and ¼ cup sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Mix well with fingers. Press into bottom of a greased 8-inch square pan. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 15 minutes.
Mix 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Stir in beaten eggs, then mix in lemon zest, lemon juice, rhubarb, coconut and vanilla. Pour this mixture over hot baked crust. Return to oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Yield: Serves 16.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 168 calories, 1.94 grams protein, 6.97 grams fat (4.28 grams saturated), 24.84 grams carbohydrates, 54 milligrams sodium, 41.69 milligrams cholesterol 41.