We’re getting towards the end of rhubarb season, but luckily I was able to buy a few stalks before it left our stores. I’ve never had a love affair with rhubarb, but I have a few friends who love it and I enjoy making things for them. For the past couple of months I’ve really been into old timey recipes, and while flipping through a Fanny Farmer cookbook, I kept coming across recipes for buckle. I had no idea what a buckle was, and everyone seemed to have a different opinion on it. Some say it’s like a cobbler, others coffee cake. One article said that it was basically a lot of fruit with a little bit of cake in between. It also seemed to be interchangeable with the crumble. I’ve also seen it in cake and bar form. While surfing through Food 52, I saw a recipe for a rhubarb buckle with ginger. This was going to be the one that I would make. I liked that it only used rhubarb instead of adding strawberries and the addition of ginger seemed really interesting. Even more intriguing was that it called for a pound of rhubarb!
I put the buckle together and baked as instructed. My toothpick came out clean and I cut it when it was cool. The buckle was incredibly moist. In-cred-i-bly. I hadn’t thought about the cake absorbing every drop of liquid that would escape from the rhubarb. I actually thought it wasn’t done and put it back in the oven for a few minutes even though it was clearly done on the edges. Five minutes later somewhat satisfied though not fully convinced of it’s doneness, I cut half of it and wrapped it up for my friend, letting him know that I wasn’t sure if it was actually done or not. A full day went by without me tasting it. For a baker, I’m a fairly picky eater and the buckle just seemed too moist for me (I have texture issues). Day two goes by and I was supposed to take it to work and hadn’t. That evening I hear from my friend. He loved it and wanted the recipe. I took it to work day three and left a note in the kitchen explaining what it was, and what I thought was wrong with it. Everyone at work loved it. I also finally had a sliver. It was good. Super duper moist, but tasty.
- For the ginger crumb topping
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- For the cake
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cups unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cups buttermilk , at room temperature
- 1 pound rhubarb , trimmed and thinly sliced
Make ginger crumb topping
Mix sugar, flour, and candied ginger together in a bowl, then stir in melted butter. Put the topping in the freezer while you mix up the cake.
Make the cake
Heat oven to 350° degrees. Butter a 9-inch round baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters, or a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Gently fold in rhubarb.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until lightly golden, and firm on top.
Store wrapped in plastic, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days.
Adapted from Food 52