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  • Writer's pictureLeigh

Sourdough Rhubarb (or Cherry) Dumpling Cake

This is another of those recipes to take advantage of your sourdough discard as well as any rhubarb (red, green, or whatever variety you have is just fine) you might have growing in your garden. Unfortunately, rhubarb is often hard to find in grocery stores, especially now. So, if you don't have any or can't find it, use a can of sour cherries (or even cherry pie filling) instead. No, cherries aren't the same, but the dessert will be quite good, regardless. The tartness of the fruit really complements the tang of the sourdough--or vice versa. What you have is a layer of juicy rhubarb (or cherries) and then a layer of puffy, not quite biscuit/not quite cake dumplings on top. The result is an incredibly delicious comfort dessert, especially when topped with vanilla ice cream! One note here about the photo you see below. My rhubarb patch is on the skimpy side, so I had to cut the quantity of fruit by half in the bottom layer. If you use the full 4 cups, you'll have a much thicker, tastier dessert!

Sourdough Rhubarb (or Cherry) Dumpling Cake -- Makes a 9-inch pan

Bottom Layer

4 cups of chopped rhubarb (chopped about 1/2-inch thick)*

1 cup of water, divided

2/3 cup of sugar

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine the rhubarb, water, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them about 4 minutes or until softened. Mix the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add the cinnamon. Add the cornstarch mixture to the rhubarb mixture, stirring everything well. Microwave the mixture for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Coat a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour the rhubarb mixture into the dish, smoothing it out to form an even layer.

*If using sour cherries, drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Mix the juice with 1/4 cup of sugar and microwave it for a minute or so until the sugar dissolves. Mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and microwave the mixture for 1-2 minutes until it thickens. Stir the cherries into the mixture and then pour the cherry mixture into the baking dish, as for the rhubarb.

Dumpling Topping

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1 teaspoon of cinnamon, divided

4 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of canola oil

1 tablespoon of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of sourdough starter/discard

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork. Cut in the oil. Add the milk, vanilla, and starter/discard and stir until a soft dough forms. Pull off nine pieces of dough (about golf-ball size) and roll them into balls. Place the balls on top of the rhubarb mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle the tops of the balls with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and then sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the dumpling cake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the dumpling cake cool for 10-15 minutes before serving it warm, preferably with ice cream.

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