… it does’t happen very often any more but I love it when the seasons catch you by surprise… one moment you’re stewing pumpkin in the slow-cooker or defrosting summer fruits for pie and the next minute you notice the neighbours rhubarb bush is in full growth and it’s time to start thieving… I mean asking very sweetly if you can ‘borrow’ some rhubarb. Sometimes it’s like living in nature’s larder – imagine me skipping like the Easter bunny around the fields plucking wild garlic from river banks and wild berries from the hedgerows… and of course at other times it’s like being stuck in nature’s freezer when there’s nothing anywhere but the barren landscape and only a trip to the local supermarket will suffice. It’s not quite as Edwardian as it sounds, it’s not like we have to saddle up a horse and cart or anything, although now I mention it…
rhubarb and blackberry country cake
I was searching for rhubarb recipes at the weekend. I wanted to do something a little homemade and rustic and Darina Allen’s brilliant Forgotten Skills of Cooking came to the rescue. I love this book. I feel that in another life I could have written these recipes. They are so homely and basic yet so beautiful and tasty and ‘from the land.’… and she’s right about the many recipes being forgotten. Some classics gently disappear from the table because they’re not seen as trendy and this is a crying shame… this cake which is more like a pie is just a ridiculously simple recipe with a gorgeous fluffy pastry made good by using soured cream or sour milk.. the pastry is so much like a scone that I may in fact use it as a scone recipe next time… oh and i’ve added some blackberries to my pie cake just because they were in the fridge.
as an aside, it’s frustrating when a cookbook, for whatever reason gets a recipe and method wrong and it’s even more frustrating when it’s a recipe such as this which is obviously a family recipe passed down the generations… you have no come-back other than the fact that you’re left staggering at how odd the measurements are and even though you’re attempting to follow the recipe and method to the letter it’s glaringly obvious that it’s not going to work… now this is quite a simple dish so it was easy to see that the given weight for rhubarb of 700g was way too much but the suggested hour in the oven at 180C really got my goat because that would have clearly ended in burnt pastry and a wasted bake. I’m not saying i’m perfect but then i’m not Darina Allen…
Choclette Blogger says
This is the sort of food I grew up on and I think your cake is waving madly in my direction. Never seen a combination of rhubarb and blackberries before – how fabulous. As for that book – I want it!
Karen S Booth says
WHAT a FABULOUS recipe for our little old Rhubarb round-up Dom and I am so GLAD you aren's Darina Allen! LOL! I LOVE your pastry too, so short and crumbly, Karen
Karen S Booth says
I said pastry, but it is like a pastry sort of cakey texture, and looks like a pie, which is intriguing!
Janice Pattie says
Well, I now have an image of you skipping round the fields like the Easter Bunny, foraging for goodies! I'm all for the homemade, homely type of recipe and your pie looks totally delicious. Thank you so much for joining me and Karen for the Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round Up.
I am loving this dessert Dom. So simple and flavourful, the perfect foil for berries.
Looks delicious and we love rhubarb.
I really miss the two ginormous rhubarb patches my parents had in their old house.
Tricia Buice says
I love the old – tried and true – recipes of the days gone by. Simple and simply delicious! This is absolutely lovely Dom.
Sue/the view from great island says
Now all I can think of it getting a bite of this…it's brilliant Dom!
Susan Lindquist says
YUM! I have her cookbook too … I love it when others pull one of the cook books I haven't used in a while … it makes me pull it from the shelf and use it! This is such a great Springtime dessert! Delicious, Dom!
Kate Glutenfreealchemist says
Love rhubarb cake! Yours looks delightfully moist inside yet crunchy on the crust. Yum! Sadly my rhubarb must have been swamped by the winter wet and has decided not to make an appearance. I have had to buy another plant!
Magnolia Verandah says
Don't know that rhubarb is in season here yet. Otherwise I would be very tempted to make this one.
SavoringTime in the Kitchen says
I can't wait to cut some stalks off my newly emerging rhubarb plant in order to make this. The crust sounds amazing! Thanks for the heads up on the baking time.