It began with the farmer's market.
My good friend Leanne and I had decided to make brunch this weekend, which again posed the question, "what should I make?". For some reason I have been dreaming of coffee cake and had it in my head that regardless of what we made, I would also make a blueberry coffee cake. We settled on a menu of a goat cheese vegetarian fritatta, gluten-free coffee cake, and rosemary potatoes. On Saturday, I ventured to the Division street farmer's market (despite the extreme heat) in search of fresh veggies and the blueberries to put into my cake. I did find plenty of onion and tomato for the fritatta but failed to find any sort of fruit besides strawberries. This got me thinking. What if I made a coffee cake with strawberries? Better yet, what if I made a strawberry rhubarb coffee cake? After trying various varietals of fresh michigan strawberries, I bought a quart, and also purchased some freshly cut rhubarb. I kept passing the various stalls gleaming with liquid gold which shone in the sun, calling me from a jar shaped like a bear. Honey. I was almost out of honey and figured fresh organic honey would be better than anything I could buy at the store. I tried four different varieties of honey before setting on my favorite - wildflower honey.
Upon arriving home, I figured I ought to put my leftover buttermilk to work in the coffee cake. This had me searching for a good buttermilk strawberry rhubarb coffee cake recipe - which were a bit more abundant than one might expect. Unfortunately most of them just had chopped up rhubarb thrown into the mix, and I had more of layered cake in mind. Also, none were gluten-free. So as usual, I took pieces from various recipes for amounts and such, and then created my own gluten-free modified recipe (which I ended up changing quite a bit to where it d
id not resemble any recipe that I had looked at, but one could say it is loosely based off of the fruit coffee cake in the better homes and gardens cookbook). The result? Absolute delight. A sweet yet tart filling encompassed by a moist cake and delicate crumb topping. Gorgeous. Delicious.
GLUTEN-FREE STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COFFEE CAKE
2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb
2 c. whole fresh strawberries (halved if they are the large storebought-kind)
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
4 Tbs. cornstarch
3 c. gluten-free flour
(I used: 1c. tapioca starch, 1/2c. potato starch, 1/4c. arrowroot starch, 1/4c. white rice flour, 1/2c.bob's red mill baking blend (sorghum and garfava flour), 1/4c. orgran gluten substitute, 1/4c. almond meal)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 beaten eggs
1 c. low-fat buttermilk
1.5 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. almond meal
1/4 c. gluten-free flour (I used half tapioca half sorghum)
1/2 c. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into chunks
preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For filling, in a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb and water. Bring to boiling. Add strawberries. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or until fruit is tender. Combine the 1/4c. sugar, 1/4c. honey, and cornstarch; stir into the fruit. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more; set filling aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the 1/2c. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.
In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir just until moistened (batter will be very sticky and a bit lumpy). Spread half of the batter into an ungreased 9 or 10 inch springform pan (or 9x12 baking pan). Spread filling over batter. Drop remaining batter in small mounds onto filling.
In a small bowl stir together the 1/2 c. flour and 1/2 c. sugar. Cut in the 2 tbs. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over coffee cake.
If using a springform pan, place a baking sheet beneath the pan, otherwise, place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Cool completely. (Do not remove springform pan side from cake until cake is ENTIRELY cooled. Run a knife along the edge to remove the side of the pan to release the cake). Sprinkle a small amount of powdered sugar on the top of the cake for a picture perfect effect.
FRITATTA AND ROSEMARY POTATOES