Last week I was on a rhubarb kick. After finding some at the Whole Foods a few weeks ago for some muffins, I was on a mission to find some fresh from a Farmer’s Market.  I had a few things in mind for it and I would not rest until I could find it!

I tried the Head House Square market but by the time we arrive around noon, all of the farm stands had sold out. I stopped by the Passyunk Fountain market and both stands said that their rhubarb hasn’t arrived yet. Finally, at our first CSA pickup at Greensgrow Farms, a pound of rhubarb stalks were for sale for $3.25. I snagged them and got to work. I had a recipe that I had been saving up for this for a while.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart

For the topping:

FOR THE TOPPING

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
coarse salt

For the cake:

1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick
1 and 3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
coarse salt
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly.

Make the cake:

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Dot with 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces). Toss rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar; let stand for 2 minutes. Toss again, and spread in pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Beat remaining stick butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread evenly over rhubarb. Crumble topping evenly over batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

cake was beautiful. The sugared rhubarb looked like stained glass on top. It was just the right amount of moist and sort of sticky. Sweet, crunchy, and wonderful. I enjoyed a few pieces myself over Memorial Day weekend, and then left it with Stu’s family  as a thank-you for all of the wonderful food they hooked us up with this weekend.  I should be getting more rhubarb next week from the CSA share, so more rhubarb treats are pending.

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