Like any seasonal fruit or vegetable, when rhubarb first comes to the market it can be pricey. Whether you give in to temptation early is up to you, and your budget, but I splurged this weekend. I'm actually trying to budget and I have no excuse for this indulgence. It was a pure impulse. I offer no apologies, but I had no idea what to even make with my rhubarb. It was just so beautiful, I couldn't resist.
I considered a side dish but always came back to pairing rhubarb with pineapple. I'm not the first to imagine the flavors. Nothing much is brand new these days.
Check these out if you're interested:
It's nothing I would pick but here's a pineapple rhubarb upside down cake at All Recipes with jello and mini marshmallows. And an interesting pineapple-rhubarb pie also at All Recipes. How about an odd pineapple-rhubarb custard pie that includes balsamic vinegar and mustard? (Not the image I conjure when the title says custard, that's for sure.) My favorite find was this pineapple-rhubarb salsa in the New York Times--maybe I'll make a salsa next time.
Like I said, nothing new. Just unique tweaks on old recipes.
I like rhubarb when it's really red and at Rockridge Orchards Wade Bennett had mouthwatering red rhubarb. I think the red hooked me.
My Cooking Assistant is not impressed. It's a good thing because rhubarb is toxic to dogs. He really is smart about some things. He definitely has the best nose around.
He's definitely interested in the pineapple. You could probably use canned pineapple for this, most upside down cakes use canned pineapple. We always use fresh when we can.
I like the way the cake looks, with cracks. Like an earthquake cake. I've made this recipe with nectarines and pie cherries. This was a first with rhubarb. Just goes to show you how a recipe could shift with the seasons. I like the top tastes when it browns. The flour is caramelized and sweet.
Rhubarb-Pineapple Upside Down Cake
(Makes one 8-inch or 9 by 7-inch pan)
2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 cups bite-size chunks of fresh pineapple
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange or tangerine juice
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1/3 cup soy, coconut, almond or rice milk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Florida crystals
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg beaten or egg replacer* for 1 egg
Combine rhubarb, pineapple, 1/2 cup orange juice and arrowroot in a medium saucepan. Stir until well blended. Heat gently and stir continuously until arrowroot thickens the mixture. The mixture should be fairly thick.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil cake pan on the bottom and sides. Mix the soymilk and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder and soda, sifting into a medium mixing bow. Stir to make sure the ingredients are well blended. In another bowl, cream the oil and sugar (Florida crystals). Blend until soft and creamy. Stir in egg or egg replacer. Then mix the milk and oil and egg mixture into the flour.
Place an even layer of fruit mixture on the bottom of the cake pan. Spread the cake over the mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake is browned on top and springs back lightly when you touch it.
Cool, then flip the cake over to serve. Serve with coconut sorbet.
Combine 1 tablespon ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Blend until frothy. (Hint: it's easier to make a replacer for more than one egg. Store the remaining replacer in the refrigerator and use within a week.)
|Pineapple-Rhubarb Upside Down Cake with Coconut Sorbet|