Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Rhubarb and Apple Coffee Cake

A rainy day, time to bake. And with only 3 eggs left in the fridge, I had to choose carefully. My rhubarb was growing nicely and needed to be picked, so I went out and did that, and decided to combine it with apples to make a coffee cake.

I had the perfect recipe in mind, and as it calls for sour cream, I could substitute my Greek yoghurt and use that up too, along with the zest from my last lemon.

First things first, I washed and sliced my rhubarb then peeled and diced 2 apples, giving me a total of 3 cups of fruit.

Preheat oven to 350F, grease a 9" X 13" glass baking dish. Ready for the fun stuff!

Toss the fruit with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside.
Measure out 3/4 cup of yoghurt, add 1/4 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the zest from my lemon (I use the small side of the box grater).
Crack the eggs.
Measure 2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

 Using the paddle of my electric mixer I creamed the 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of white sugar and 3/4 cup of light brown sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl down occasionally.

The eggs were next, one at a time, scraping the bowl in between.

Then the dry ingredients got added , half first, then the yoghurt mixture, then the other half of the dry ingredients.

 I spread half of the batter on the bottom of the prepared pan, then sprinkled the fruit over the top.

 The remaining batter went 
 on top and was spread evenly        across the fruit.

Now to make the scrummy almond crumble topping! In a food processor combine  1 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Pulse until the nuts are chopped and the mixture just starts to form small clumps.

Spread the crumble evenly over the batter. Place the dish in the oven and bake until it is golden brown, and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out dry, about 1 hour.

  • This coffee cake works well with a lot of different fruits, so is a perfect way to use them up. I have used apples, peaches, plums, nectarines, berries, rhubarb, pineapple, cherries to name a few. As it freezes well (I cut portions and wrap and freeze them individually for convenience) the fruit does not go to waste at all!
  • You can substitute any nut for the almonds, again a great way to use up bits and pieces that would go to waste. Dried coconut would pair well with pineapple or raspberries.
  • As I mentioned at the start of this recipe, you can use either sour cream or yoghurt (plain or flavoured).
  • If you choose orange or lime zest instead of lemon, you will alter the taste of the cake. Try lime and blackberry, or orange and cherry.
  • You can add chocolate chips to the fruit or crumble.
  • If you are really in a chocolate mood, substitute 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour with cocoa powder.
  • Don't feel as if you have to use cinnamon, try ginger with peaches, nutmeg with pears. Or live on the edge and try a hot dried chili, like ancho or chipotle, but use less than 1 teaspoon, according to how much heat you and your family can tolerate.
  • The cake is good room temperature, or warmed up and accompanied by whipped cream or ice cream.

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