Rhubarb Pie Cake

IMG_4302It’s still rhubarb season, and I had already made a rhubarb cake, and was looking around for something a bit different in the way of rhubarb recipes. That’s when I came across an interesting recipe for an Apple Pie Cake, which was simply a  very moist apple cake made in a pie pan. I immediately wondered if rhubarb wouldn’t work, too. I had just purchased a wonderful metal fluted pie tin at Goodwill and was itching to try it. As it turns out, this Rhubarb Pie Cake is absolutely delicious, though it’s so moist and full of rhubarb that it’s almost more like a pudding than a cake or a pie! So good!

IMG_4303Rhubarb Pie Cake

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped finely
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Cream the butter and add the sugar. Mix well. Add the egg and vanilla and stir vigorously until smooth. Mix together the dry ingredients, and sift into the butter/sugar mixture. Then add the chopped rhubarb and nuts and stir. Scrape into a greased 10-inch pie pan and bake for 40 to 45  minutes. Allow to cool off until tepid, and ice with a mixture of one cup of confectioners sugar mixed with water and vanilla. I used one tablespoon of water, one teaspoon of vanilla, and then two more teaspoons of water. I spread it over the pie cake with the back of a spoon while it was still just a bit warm. and it melted into a shiny white glaze.

Baking notes: Be sure the butter is well softened. Also, be sure to bake for at least 40 minutes, until nicely browned all over. The middle of the cake pie should feel firm when you press it lightly. Serve by scooping up a portion with a large spoon.

IMG_4305The little sprig of flowers on the cake pie is made up of perennial geranium flowers, which brings us to the perennial geraniums that are flowering right now in my garden. I always think of them as the worker bees of a garden–not spectacular enough to be focal points, but irreplaceable as support players. They come in sugar candy colors and look delicate, but are tough as nails, soldiering on through drought and heat. They come in low-growing mounding forms, as well as wispy taller varieties.

4273xSomething else I’ve come to appreciate: there is a lovely, almost Victorian aura to them, and look really lovely decorating cakes and tucked under the ribbons of birthday presents.  They are also pretty dried, and could be used to decorate a Victorian-inspired photo album. The geranium shown here is a Geranium macrorrhizum (big root geranium). I would recommend this particular geranium to anyone, as it’s the toughest variety I know of. Also, the leaves have a delicious, resinous scent.

4266xThis is Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’ A mounding form with lovely flowers.

4267xIt looks good with many other perennials, including catmint.

4263xHere is Geranium sanguineum, a very heat tolerant plant. I have it by my back steps where it gets blasted with sun every summer.

4264xI’ve had it for 25 years!

4265xOne more.

4269xI’ve lost track of which variety this is! Beautiful pale pink.

4275xThis is one of the taller, wispier varieties, called Geranium phaeum. Love this plant for its delicacy and unusual color!

4277xIt’s a fabulous, dark, grape-y color–looks like something that could be worn by a garden fairy as a necklace.

4270xThey are beautiful even after the petals have fallen.

4290xThe purple finch looks color-coordinated with the geraniums!

4205xMeanwhile, the clematis are waiting in the wings: it’s a busy time in the garden! Hope your week is a good one. Namaste. Fran

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