Last year our rhubarb plant did not survive the previous winter so we planted a new one and took extra care to protect it this past winter. I was so happy to see it sprouting up through the earth this spring. It is thriving and we can already see that it has multiplied into a few other plants. So today I cut my first few stalks of homegrown rhubarb! And, of course, to celebrate this feat, I made a cake. Yeah, you're not surprised by that fact, are you? There's always a good excuse for cake!
Rhubarb with almond is a heaven-sent combo. Soaked in maple, even better. I love making corn cakes in a cast iron skillet and I followed the same technique for this souped up almond version. Its sweet, fluffy and crumbly, just like cornbread should be.
I can only cut a few stalks this season so that the rhubarb plant can become and stay strong. I'd love to try a poached rhubarb in maple syrup and lemon to spoon over homemade yogurt and granola. Please share some of your favorite and unusual ways to cook and eat this beautiful tart plant in the comments!
If you make it to the end of this post (I hope so!) there's a funny photo of "Rhubarb Boy", my sweet little helper at it again!
Recipe after the jump...
Vegan Rhubarb Almond Polenta Skillet Cake
makes one 8" skillet cake
- 1 cup fine polenta/corn meal
- 1/2 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup rapadura
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup oil such as canola/sunflower/olive oil
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 stalks of rhubarb
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon oil for greasing skillet
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Wash and trim leaves from rhubarb and cut into 4" long pieces. If stalks are wide then slice them in half lengthwise. Lay rhubarb in a shallow dish and coat with the maple syrup. Let sit to soak in the maple while you prepare batter. Heat an 8" cast iron skillet on low heat on the stove while you prepare the batter.
Whisk together polenta, flour, almond meal, rapadura and baking powder in a bowl. In a measuring cup whisk together milk, oil, and extracts. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to incorporate and let sit for 5 minutes, which allows cornmeal to absorb the liquid and thickens the batter slightly.
Add tablespoon of oil to hot skillet, and (using a pot holder-it's HOT!) swirl the skillet to coat bottom with the oil. Keep skillet on the stove with heat on low until you put it in the oven. Pour batter into skillet-batter should sizzle. Arrange rhubarb on the top of the batter and drizzle the maple syrup all over the top.
Bake on center rack for 25 minutes until golden brown and edges come away from the sides of skillet.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Best eaten the day it is made but can keep covered at room temperature for a couple of days.
Note: If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can bake this cake in a greased 8" cake pan or a pie plate, but do NOT heat on the stove first! Pour batter into the cold pan and bake for 25-30 minutes instead.
Remember to tag your creations with #fareislerecipe on instagram so I can see them and repost!