CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

It seems people who love rhubarb just can’t get enough recipes that feature the pie plant. That’s especially so if you grew up eating tasty rhubarb desserts straight out of your mother’s oven.

I was reminded of that today by Becky Leguee Siani, whose older brother, Rory, was a good childhood friend of mine, and her sister, Eileen, a grade school classmate, in Crookston, Minn.

Becky Leguee Siani (center), Eileen Leguee Warzeka and Ardie Leguee.
Becky Leguee Siani (center), Eileen Leguee Warzeka and Ardie Leguee.

Becky, who lives in Georgia, has posted a lot of recipes on Facebook over the past couple of years, most recently a few that contain rhubarb. Recently, she shared a link that featured rhubarb cocktails, and today, she shared another for rhubarb  cookies that her 88-year-old mother, Ardie, told her about. Becky said she was going to make the cookies today because she still has some frozen rhubarb that was purchased at a Kroger’s supermarket. (Rhubarb doesn’t grow in Georgia and must be purchased frozen in grocery stores.)

As of late, I’ve been in the rhubarb mode, too. Over the past three weeks or so, I’ve made several batches of sauce, and yesterday, I made the following cake recipe, using rhubarb and strawberries straight from our garden.

I don’t recall the origin of the recipe. But I bet a lot of those little old moms across the Northland have probably pulled quite a few out their ovens over the years.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup butter
4 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl combine flour, packed brown sugar, quick-cooking oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press half of the mixture into an ungreased 9-inch baking pan.
Combine chopped rhubarb and strawberries; spoon into baking pan.
In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, water, and vanilla.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Pour mixture over fruit. Sprinkle fruit with the remaining crumb mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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