Rhubarb Upside-down Cake
To be perfectly honest, this is more of a large rhubarb-topped scone than an upside down cake, but I’m perfectly OK with that. Best eaten warm, with fresh whipped cream!
- 3⁄4 lb. rhubarb (4-5 medium-large stalks), trimmed and cut into 1 1⁄2” pieces on an angle
- 11⁄2 cups sugar
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 6 tbsp. cut into 1⁄2” cubes and chilled
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 21⁄2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1⁄3 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Combine rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, 4 tbsp butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1⁄4 tsp salt in a 9” skillet over medium heat. Cast iron works best, as you can put it directly in the oven, but I used a regular nonstick pan then transferred into a cake pan for baking and it came out just fine.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted and rhubarb is tender and slightly caramelized, 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar and salt, plus flour and baking powder in a bowl.
- Add remaining butter and the shortening and, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, rub into flour mixture to form coarse pea-size pieces.
- Add milk and eggs and stir until a soft, sticky dough forms (I ended up needing to add just a teaspoon more milk, but use your best judgement). 6.5 If using a nonstick skillet, transfer the rhubarb mixture into an ungreased cake pan.
- Place spoonfuls of dough over rhubarb mixture and smooth with a nonstick spatula. Imperfections are OK! Luckily, this will be the bottom of your cake.
- Bake until the crust is golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Remove skillet from oven; place a large flat serving platter on top of the skillet and invert quickly and carefully.
Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like.