Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

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Oh my gosh, rhubarb. Rhubarb has a special place in my heart. From picking it from the garden and gnawing on it as a kid, to obsessing over ways to incorporate it into every dish possible, I love rhubarb’s tart taste.

While pairing rhubarb with strawberries is delicious, it’s also a great way to get rhubarb naysayers to realize that they are totally insane. This strawberry rhubarb upside-down cake is as wonderful for dessert as it is for breakfast the next day. The original recipe (linked at the bottom) for some reason left out lemon and had you cook the cake in a regular pan. I nixed the almonds, added lemon zest and juice, and modified the recipe to be baked in a cast iron pan. Now it’s not good, it’s delicious.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake (Serve 6-10)

Topping:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed, hulled and halved
  • 3 cups rhubarb, trimmed, cut across into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon

PREPARATION

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the topping, melt the butter in a 12″ cast iron pan. Add the brown sugar to the remaining butter and cook until the sugar is melted, stirring until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Remove heat and arrange the strawberries over the brown sugar mixture in concentric circles, cut-side up. Top with the rhubarb and set aside.

2.To make the cake, using an electric mixer cream the butter, sugar, lemon juice, and zest until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine the vanilla with the milk. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined.

3.Spread the batter over the fruit in the pan. Bake until the cake springs back when touched in the center, about 50 minutes – 1 hour. (Cover the cake with foil if the top browns too much before the cake is done.) Remove the cake from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a cake plate with a lip to collect juices. Replace any fruit that sticks to the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Modified from http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/3175/strawberry-rhubarb-upside-down-cake.html

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