I haven’t made a single crisp this summer with all the summer fruits (it’s a heavy shame), but I have made a strawberry rhubarb crumb cake, and it was only ever the most toothsome. You too, can have toothsome cakes. Too toothsome. I want to combine that into one word, but it just ends up becoming…toothsome. So.
No idea what “China Powdered #1” is. I’ll be on the lookout for “Azerbaijan Ground #5” next to do a taste comparison. But it is Penzey’s ginger, so it must be good.
Honestly, I couldn’t taste too much of the ginger in the final product, though I included some fresh ginger in the compote and the powdered ginger in the cake. Also honestly, I wasn’t on high alert for the ginger when I ate some of it (ahem, I was at a bachelorette party). Maybe it’s a good thing that the ginger isn’t too punchy/in yo face. This is really about the strawberry rhubarb, or, if we’re being even honester, this is really about the crumb. Everyone knows that crumbs are the best part.
Compotes are the easiest, and don’t worry about the rhubarb being too tart. It’s not, and it’s nice. Using fresh fruit might have made the cake firm up a little better (see the recipe linked below or this one for examples of the fresh fruit version), so I recommend giving that a go if you don’t want to take the extra time to make compote.
Despite this thick layer of crumb heaven, my cake still boiled up like lava through the cracks. I wonder if this could be remedied by spreading out my fruit to cover the entire surface area of the bottom cake. Or maybe I didn’t whisk my ingredients, and had big pockets of baking powder bursting through.
Maybe sifting the dry ingredients actually has a purpose.
Maybe following directions is the right thing to do.
Make sure to sprinkle your powdered sugar just prior to serving. I didn’t, and it soaked in a bit in the middle. (This is also because, since we’re being honest, I underbaked it a little, and the middle was slightly sogged. Will she never be better?)
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups strawberry rhubarb compote, like this one
2 T. light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9×9 square baking pan. (I used a rectangle, but I think it is approximately the same proportions, maybe slightly smaller). Set aside.
Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberry compote in a thick layer, then top with refrigerated streusel.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.