The cake itself is mild in flavor and well-structured and thus will happily pair with whatever seasonal bounty you have on hand.
By Sara Clevering
I think this cake is a perfect base for any fruit you’d like–rhubarb for spring, peaches or nectarines for fall? The cake itself is mild in flavor and well-structured and thus will happily pair with whatever seasonal bounty you have on hand. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the rhubarb while it lasts.
- 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces along the diagonal
- 1? cup sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest of one lemon
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup semolina flour (substitute an additional cup of flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (I used muscovado with a bit of white)
- ? teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or a nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper, extending the lengths up two sides. (It will look like a sling). Stir together rhubarb, lemon juice and ? cup sugar and set aside. Beat butter, remaining sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at at time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Whisk together flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon table salt and ground ginger together in a small bowl. Add one-third of this mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined. Continue, adding half the ricotta, the second third of the flour mixture, the remaining ricotta, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing between each addition until just combined.
- Dollop batter over prepared pan, then use a spatula — offset, if you have one, makes this easiest — to spread the cake into an even, thin layer. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the cake, spreading it into an even layer (most pieces should fit in a tight, single layer).
- Stir together the crumb mixture, first whisking the flour, brown sugar, table salt and cinnamon together, then stirring in the melted butter with a spoon or fork. Scatter evenly over rhubarb layer. Bake cake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. The cake is done when a tester comes out free of the wet cake batter below. It will be golden on top. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
- Cut the two exposed sides of the cake free of the pan, if needed, then use the parchment “sling” to remove the cake from the pan. Cut into 2-inch squares and go ahead and eat the first one standing up. (If it’s written into the recipe, it’s not “sneaking” a piece but, in fact, following orders, right?) Share the rest with friends. Cake keeps at room temperature for a few days, but I didn’t mind it at all from the fridge, where I kept it covered tightly.
Sara sees cooking and baking as a delicious way to connect with the past and travel the world from her kitchen. She is commited to preparing homemade, unprocessed meals for her family and is always looking for tricks to fit this into a busy schedule. Sara is currently in the Boston area after several years living in London, Spain, and the Czech Republic, and travelling extensively in Eastern and Western Europe, always making sure to experience local culture through food. She also blogs with her sisters at www.threecleversisters.com