Grand-Maman Irène’s upside down rhubarb cake
We harvested the first rhubarb in our garden and made our first batches of rhubarb jam and a cake.
This is the cake my beloved grand-maman Irène used to make every spring with the first rhubarb from her garden. They also grew red and black current and gooseberries to make delicious jellies. The jars were kept sealed and served on cold days to brighten up the long winter back east
I use a well-seasoned cast-iron pan skillet but a cake pan would work too.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalk, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces ~about 3 cups
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
Preheat oven at 350 F
Make the topping:
Heat butter in skillet gently until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle sugar and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and place rhubarb in one layer on sugar mixture. Set aside.
Make the cake:
1.In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
2.Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed, about 1 minute.
3.Add vanilla and almond extract to the sugar and butter and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.Reduce speed and add flour mixture alternately in batches with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5.Mix until just combined
Bake the cake:
1.Spoon cake batter over the rhubarb without disturbing the rhubarb.
2.Bake cake until golden and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
3.Cool in skillet on a rack for 15 minutes.
4.Run a thin knife around edge of skillet. Wearing oven mitts, invert a plate over skillet and, keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert cake onto plate.
5.Carefully lift skillet off cake.
6.Serve cake warm or at room temperature.