Easy Buttery, Fruit Coffee Cake, using Sourdough Starter

Use that Starter, go ahead, it doesn't make this coffee cake at all sour.  Also, use whatever fruit you have handy.  The original, from Heather Horn at the Atlantic, calls for rhubarb.  That is not a tropical fruit.  We don't get it here, unless it comes from the Mainland, and who wants to go that route, with plenty of other choices dropping off the trees?  So, the possibilities abound, tart apples if you have them, green peaches, plums would probably be good, or sour cherries.  And for you tropic people, greenish mangoes, guavas, or as I did, mountain apples and okay, a few frozen cranberries.  I just felt those bland mountain apples might need some help in the flavor and tartness department.  Looks like I'm not always consistent.

Her recipe first called to me mainly because it uses sourdough starter, which if you have one in residence, you know how demanding it can be.  USE ME, USE ME.  I was waiting for just the right fruit, when these mountain apples appeared. 

What I've done with them before, besides just eating a few out of hand, is make wine.  Doesn't that sound lovely, Mountain Apple Wine?   And, it is. This time, I had chopped up what there was, and popped them into the freezer until I knew what they might like to do with their lives. Then, something about them reminded me of this rhubarb recipe.  The color, maybe?  

Buttery Rhubarb (or Whatever) Coffee Cake

From Heather Horn at The Atlantic

For the batter:
    • 1 to 1¼ cup chopped fruit
    • 1 cup of sourdough starter of middling ripeness (i.e. no more than four or five days away from its last feeding—if it's super compact, sour, and ill-fed, use less)
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1⁄3 cup yogurt
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1⁄3 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup lightly cooked, lightly sweetened if tart, fruit

For the topping:
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon flour
    • a few drops vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a nine-inch round cake pan (nine-inch square is fine, too, just be sure to check the coffee cake a few minutes before the time listed here, and adjust baking time according to doneness).

Rinse and chop your fruit coarsely and add to saucepan with a tablespoon of water and a few tablespoons of sugar. Bring to simmer over low heat. Taste and adjust the sugar. You want it to be edible but sour. If you wind up with a lot of liquid, drain some of it off before adding to the coffee cake batter.

Mix the batter:
Mix all the batter ingredients except for the fruit together until just combined. If your starter is very stiff, you may need to add a few tablespoons more yogurt to the batter to moisten it up (it should still be very thick). Add the rhubarb and stir. Scrape into cake pan, pushing batter out evenly.

Make the topping:
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla extract for the topping. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

This was totally excellent, if I do say so.  Buttery, crunchy outside, moist fruity inside, with just a bit of tartness to counter the sugary  topping.  And, very easy to put together.  I had a group of women over for a meeting in the morning and was able to whip this up in no time before they arrived.


Joanne said...

what a cool coffee cake! I've never heard of using starter in a cake before and now I'm very intrigued...

Great ideas for fruit fillings! I do have some cranberries in my freezer...

Sophie said...

What a stunning & special coffee cake!!`

Waw,...Claudia!! The cake looks fabulously tasty!

Many sunny greetings from Brussels!