It’s funny, at the beginning of every spring, how the rhubarb recipes overrun the food forums and media and publications. All of them scream about rhubarb -- and it’s only because rhubarb is one of the first new vegetables to bring us out of the long, cold winter. We get a bit rhubarb-crazy. The April 2018 issue of Cooking Light sang this rhubarb song, and I joined in. The “Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake” was a moist, enjoyable ride.

Slice into fresh rhubarb and be alarmed by the foul stink. The batter redeems itself, however, with the pleasant perfumes of ginger and cardamom and orange zest. The eggs and mayonnaise(!) and sour cream make a rich, silky batter. I baked my cake for 57 minutes.

I was proud to enjoy the chopped thyme atop my turned out cake. The tart rhubarb became just-sweet-enough, after baking with the sugar.

PREP TIME: soften butter, prep and cook cake in 90 minutes, cool and loosen cake for 25 minutes
TASTE: moist, fragrant cake with tangy/sweet rhubarb

Next time, I will try the “Apple Pie” recipe from the May/June 2018 issue of Bake From Scratch (recipe below). Come back to my site next week, to see what happens to me.

Apple Pie
Bake From Scratch, May/June 2018
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

There are few things more Southern than a from-scratch slice of  pie. The combination of spiced apple filling and buttery double crust is as close to simple perfection as a dessert can get. Remember, cold ingredients and limited handling of the dough create the flakiest crust.

Piecrust Dough (recipe follows)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. apple pie spice
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 cups sliced Gala or Fuji apples (about 2½ lbs.)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1 Tbsp.  water

Preheat oven to 375°F.
 
Let Piecrust Dough stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough to ½ inch beyond edge of plate.
 
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, cornstarch, apple pie spice, and salt. Add apples and lemon juice, tossing to coat. Spoon apple mixture into prepared crust.
 
On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife or a fluted pastry wheel, cut 6 (1-inch-wide) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design on top of filling. Trim strips to ½ inch beyond edge of plate. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired.
 
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush dough with egg wash.
Bake until crust is golden brown and apples are tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour, loosely covering with foil after 30 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.

Piecrust Dough
Makes 1 (9-inch) double crust

4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
¾ cup ice water

 In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. With processor running, add ¾ cup (180 grams) ice water in a slow, steady stream until a dough forms.
 
Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.