At this time of year I always find myself lingering over the bundles of pink rhubarb that appear in the supermarkets - and thinking that they are a bit pricey. Luckily they frequently turn up in the bins of items reduced for quick sale. So the other day I swooped and bought myself two bundles.
As it happens, I had been talking to a friend of my brother about rhubarb a few days before (we had all gone out for a curry and conversation centred naturally around food of all kinds). This lady recommended a recipe for a rhubarb crumble cake that she had in an old Prue Leith cook book but when I later Googled it nothing that sounded like it appeared. What did appear was a recipe by Rachel Allen, which you can see in several places, one of which is here. That turned out to be a recipe in this book, "Entertaining at Home" which, as it equally happens, I had bought for £1 in a charity shop recently.
Rachel's recipe is actually for a rhubarb and ginger crumble cake, but I wanted the rhubarb itself to be the star of the show, so I omitted the ginger and added vanilla extract to the cake instead.
I gently cooked the rhubarb in sugar and two tablespoons of water until soft as per instructions, which resulted in quite a lot of liquid. The recipe doesn't say whether you should add the liquid to the cake along with the rhubarb so I didn't, thinking it would have made the whole thing very soggy. Even so, spooning the rhubarb out of the pan on top of the cake mixture inevitably meant that a certain amount of liquid went in with it. As the cake turned out just right, that's what I would do again. The baking time given was 45-50 minutes but mine was quite well done (not too well done) after 45 minutes so I would check after 40 minutes next time.