My in-laws live in a country suburb in John Betjeman’s bucolic Metroland. It is a place where “knickers” with an exclamation mark constitutes a swear and on summer weekends village cricket reigns supreme. The local church is more than 1,000 years old and the local watering holes have appeared in Richard Curtis films. Spotting the forked tails of red kites flying high is a common occurrence as are bake sales, car boot sales, charity fun runs, bonfire nights, Scottish Association sponsored dance nights, and dogs in the pub. It’s wonderful and on the weekends there is no other place I’d rather be.
This past Saturday, we didn’t stay the night though we did stay for elevenses and lunch. Helena chased around Charlie cat while Henry read the papers and my mother-in-law tended to her garden. It really is the most magnificent garden I’ve ever seen. The flowers are abundant as are the fruits and vegetables. For lunch, we had salad and cherries. Afterwards, I made a floral arrangement for the house.
When it was time to leave, I took a bunch a rhubarb with me. Which brings us to today. I have just made the most delicious cake with said rhubarb and below is the recipe. Because it is not that sweet it’s perfect for tea, morning or afternoon.
125 grams room temperature butter, unsalted
3/4 c caster sugar
1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c ground almonds
3/4 c milk
Enough chopped rhubarb to cover the top of the cake, for me this was 5 ribs
Crumble topping of your choice. I had leftover crumble in my freezer from Claire Ptak’s raspberry muffin recipe so I used that. Should you not have any on hand, crumble the following with your fingers until it resembles coarse meal: 1/4 c butter, 1/4 c sugar (I like to mix light brown, Demerara, and caster), 1 heaping tbsp flour, 1/3 c ground and flaked almonds. Feel free to add some oats or desiccated coconut as well.
Preheat the oven to gas 4/180°C/350°F.
Prepare a 10″ cake tin by buttering it and lining it with paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale in color and fluffy.
Mix in the eggs one at a time.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, and almonds.
Incorporate the milk, vanilla, and zest.
Pour the batter into the cake tin.
Scatter the rhubarb pieces on top of the batter then sprinkle as much crumble as you like over that.
Bake for about an hour or until a skewer emerges clean when plunged into the cake and pulled out again.
Cool and serve. Add Greek yoghurt or cream if you like.