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Rhubarb recipe

Spring garden rhubarb strawberry crumble cake

This lovely coffee cake is easy peasy and makes the most of your spring rhubarb bounty. The crumble is elevated with the addition of coconut. The recipe is divided into three parts: the crumble, fruit and the cake. You will need a 9-inch round or square springform pan to ensure your cake will be easy to remove.

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round springform pan and line with parchment paper.


  • 120 grams (8 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Place all the crumble ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix. Set aside.


  • 260 grams of fresh garden rhubarb (about 2 or 3 medium stalks) cut into 1 cm slices.
  • 260 grams of fresh garden organic strawberries, hulled and sliced 0.5 cm thick
  • 2 packed tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste of scraped seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Place all the fruit ingredients in a medium bowl, toss and set aside.


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cubbed
  • 1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large room temperature eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Place the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl when necessary. Add the vanilla extract followed by the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.

Some assembly required

Pour the cake batter into the lined cake pan and smooth out the surface. Spoon over the fruit mixture and then sprinkle evenly with the crumble mixture.

Bake for about 70 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cover with tin foil for the last 15-20 minutes of baking so the top doesn’t get too dark. Cool completely before removing from pan.

Five best words in the English language: Pie is in the oven…strawberry rhubarb crumble…three other great words

Now I know it’s spring. Time to whip up a pie for The Handyman to celebrate.

I’m not the type to read the last chapter of a book first but it’s good to make an informed decision about recipes. This amazingly tart, sweet and beautifully spiced pie recipe comes from Edmonton’s the Duchess Bake Shop cookbook (with some minor modifications).


My rhubarb plant, like most of the rhubarb in Naramata, is an unknown heritage variety. Almost every garden has a plant that’s likely been there for years and years. I imagine mine has supplied a lot of rhubarb pies in its lifetime. I hope it’s honoured to be blogged about.

Blind-baked pie shell

For pies that have juicy fillings like rhubarb strawberry, you will need to fully bake the shell before filling it.

In my opinion the best pie crust has half butter and half shortening.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cubed cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cubed cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup ice water

Either using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a food processor mix or pulse the flour, butter, shortening and salt for 10 or 15 seconds. Add the ice water and mix on medium or pulse until the dough just comes together.

Don’t overmix. You want some small lumps of fat to remain to make the dough flaky.

Shape the dough into three balls. You will only need one ball for this pie so freeze the other two for future pie baking. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the refrigerator (and the other two in the freezer) for at least a half hour.

Roll the dough out and place in the pie shell.

Freeze the shell for at least 15 minutes at this point.

Brush the pie shell with an egg wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 tbsp cream (or milk).

Cut a circle out of parchment and fill the lined shell with dried beans, rice or pie weights.

Save the rice for your next blind baking session.

Bake the shell at 375F for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are light golden brown. Take it out of the oven, remove the parchment and rice and poke the shell a few times with a fork. Put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.



  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

Combine all the above in a bowl and using your hands work it all together until clumps form. Set it aside.


Cut the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces. De-stem and quarter the strawberries.

  • 3 cups rhubarb
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp orange blossom water

Use fresh nutmeg if you have it…grating it.

To make the filling, in a saucepan, place the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and stir in the strawberries and orange blossom water.

Fill the shell to the rim and top with the crumb topping. Bake the pie at 375F for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crumb is golden brown and filling is bubbling. I like this pie warm out of the oven but it’s good cold too.

The six best words in the English language: Pie is out of the oven. The Duchess Bake Shop cookbook is the bomb. Everything I’ve tried from it has turned out beautifully and it’s fun just to browse and drool over the photos.

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