Strawberry Rhubarb Crumblecakes

My mother’s close friend and coworker recently has had a rough time with her health and she asked me if I would be able to bake something special for her and her family as a little pick me up.
I was trying to think of what to make with what we had lying around the house (always a fun and interesting challenge for me) and ended up finding a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam that was gifted to my mom by one of her customers. Boom, idea. What if I could make a strawberry rhubarb crumble but in the form of cupcakes? So I found a recipe and ran with it, as usual. Instead of cooking down fresh strawberries and such I just substituted the jam and skipped the whole process of making the filling (but I’ll leave the recipe with the filling below in case you don’t have a jam to use). Also, I made the crumble topping but smooshed it into the cupcake tins instead of just dropping it on top so it made little cups for the filling to sit in and (hopefully) make it more manageable to eat.
Well, this may have been one of my first not so successful experiments. It turns out that the full 45 minute baking time for the whole apple crumble was a bit too long and made the cupcake liners stick too much to the crumble. Also, I think they may have been a bit better if you made about a half more of the crumble to make a bit more sturdy cups for them to sit in. I mean, they tasted good once I finished fighting the wrapper to get it off and it sort of caving into itself…
Anyways, I hope that this puts a little smile on her and her family’s faces or at the very least, taste yummy to them!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumblecakes

For Filling:
1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pound rhubarb, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For Topping:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. To make the filling, in a large bowl, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
To start the topping, spread the almonds in a 9-inch pie plate and toast, stirring once, until golden and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let cool completely. (I found this part to be completely optional. I do not necessarily prefer toasted almonds so I just skipped this and threw mine in plain.)
In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the flour, baking soda and salt until the almonds are coarsely ground (in case you haven’t figured it out already, I do not have a food processor so I just chopped up the almonds and mixed those in). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with both sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl again. Add the almond-flour mixture all at once and mix at low speed just until incorporated.
Pour the fruit into the pie plate. Dollop teaspoon-size clumps of the batter over the fruit. Bake until the topping is deeply browned and the juices bubbling up around it appear thickened, about 45 minutes (this was a bit long for me so I’d say check them around 30 minutes?). Let cool slightly; serve warm.

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