Spring brings wonderful things, with rhubarb and strawberries among my very favorite. A few years ago, I became obsessed with Starbucks Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble. Buttery cake, the sweet and ever so slightly tangy strawberry-rhubarb layer, the not too crumbly topping. Ah. Everyday I was buying one. Delicious!
Of course, my breakfast treat didn’t last long. Once this bit of deliciousness was removed from the menu, I searched in vain for a knock-off recipe. Nothing. So I took to my kitchen and my laptop and mixed, mashed, and changed-up a bunch of different recipes to create an absolutely delicious facsimile of the original. This recipe takes a little more effort, but I promise, it’s worth it.
1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
2 cups Strawberries, sliced and mashed
1 T. Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Sugar
3 T. Cornstarch
3 cups Flour (all purpose please)
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1teaspoon vanilla extract
3 T. Butter, melted
1/2 cup Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
Preheat your oven to 350-degrees.
In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until nice and soft. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened (this should only take a minute or two). Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add in buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well combined, but don’t overmix.
Place slightly cooled strawberry mixture into a food processor and process until smooth (you can leave it chunky if you like, but this more closely resembles the Starbucks bar and in my opinion is yummier and more pleasing in a textural kind of way).
Spread 2/3 of the cake batter (and this is REALLY important; you need to save 1/3 for the topping) into a greased 9×13 cake pan (I really like the disposable aluminum foil ones that I use down at The Kitchen Studio Cooking School because they have high sides and I’ve got a million of them). The batter will fight you a little bit and not want to spread, but you will persevere! Carefully spread the strawberry filling on top. Drop remaining 1/3 of cake batter in splootches (about 1 T. ea.) on top of filling. Bake for 25 minutes.
While cake is baking, prepare crumb topping. Melt butter in a saucepan or in the microwave. Stir in flour and sugar until mealy. After cake has baked for 25 minutes, remove from oven (be sure to shut the door so that all of the heat doesn’t escape) and sprinkle the crumb topping all over the cake. Return to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set and a crumb tester comes out clean.
Remove cake to a rack and allow to cool in the pan. It’s delicious warm, so if you can’t control yourself, I understand. Just be sure that you don’t get burned by crazy hot filling.