Buttery, sugary, buttermilk tender, strawberry rhubarb-y, jammy-oozy coffee cake. But is this really a coffee cake? Is it for breakfast or dessert? It doesn't matter to me, this is very good! I probably should have waited before cutting into this cake and photographing it, but the aroma was so irresistible that I had to. Warm, it was like a cobbler with a bottom crust. After completing cooling, the filling was less oozy, but still delicious, more like a coffee cake.
We were visiting Sweetie-Pi's sister's home, and her beloved offered fresh-from-their-garden rhubarb, with the warm earth still clinging to the long green and red stalks. He handed me a huge bagful and my eyes lit in anticipation, as I thought of strawberry rhubarb pies and coffee cake. I found this keeper recipe on Southern Food About.com.
Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake
(found on Southern Food About.com)
3 cups sliced rhubarb, (1 inch pieces) fresh or frozen
2 pints fresh strawberries, mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
Generously butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and have ready a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan (or tin foil on the baking rack) to place under the baking dish to allow for any fruit bubbling over. Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Combine the sugar with the cornstarch and add to the fruit mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, and the cornstarch mixture looks clear. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, or use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients, until you have a mixture that resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Spread half of the batter mixture into the prepared 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Top with the strawberry rhubarb mixture, carefully spreading as necessary. Using a tablespoon, drop the remaining batter onto the filling.
For the topping, melt the butter either in your microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and sugar and mix until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
Place baking dish on the baking sheet and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the cake is done. A toothpick inserted into the center of the batter will probably have the fruit mixture cling to the toothpick, but you are looking to see that the batter is cooked.
Cool cake on rack. Cut in squares to serve. Will easily make 12 squares.
Notes: This may be sacrilege, but I preferred this cake slightly warm and the filling all sweet, gooey, and oozy.
Cake took an extra 10 minutes to cook in my oven, a total of 55 minutes.