Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rhubarb Kuchen

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Rhubarb kuchen with a dollop of whipped cream
Rhubarb kuchen with a dollop of whipped cream

Kuchen is sort of like a pie, or a cake, or a crumble ... kind of a blend of all three, really.  It uses a crust similar to a pie crust, a custard and fruit filling, and then a crumble on top, baked in a cake pan.  Hmm.  Well, whatever it is, it is a great way to show off all that fresh (or frozen) rhubarb of spring.  Each bite is a layer of surprises - the sweet crumble, the tart rhubarb and creamy custard, all held together with a buttery crust.

Rhubarb spread over the crust
Rhubarb spread over the crust

You can use frozen rhubarb in this recipe - just do not thaw it ahead of time and I would add in an extra cup or so.  You can also use all-purpose flour if would like.  I am still on my spelt kick and I am finding that baking sweets with it gives a balanced nutty, savory note that I am really hooked on.  I recommend giving this a try with spelt if you happen to have some on hand I think you will love it.

Rhubarb Kuchen
Is it a cake, a pie, or a crumble? A bit of all those, that's what makes it kuchen. With rhubarb this is a buttery sweet-tart dessert that is very satisfying.
  • Crust
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 12 Tbs butter, cubed into smaller pieces
  • 1 egg
  • Custard
  • 7 - 8 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • Crumble Topping
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbs butter, cubed into smaller pieces

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 (F). Prepare the crust by placing all crust ingredients in the food processor and pulsing until everything is combined enough to form a course sand texture. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish press the crust flat in an even layer.
  2. Evenly spread the rhubarb pieces over the crust. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and ginger and pour the custard over the rhubarb.
  3. In the same bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it between uses here) pulse the flour, sugar and butter until it forms a sandy crumble. Spread this evenly over the rhubarb and custard.
  4. Bake for 45 - 1 hour 15 minutes, just until you see bubbles in the middle of the pan. Cool completely before serving with whipped cream or ice cream or as is. Enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 servings