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BackstoryIt's about time we got to making fresh produce the main star again! The winter has been long and harsh, but finally spring has taken it's place here in Nor Cal. Rhubarb is starting show it's ruby red stalks and a few stone fruit are beginning to show a bit early.
Rhubarb is one of my favorite things about the warm weather. I enjoy it's color, it's strong physique, it's acerbic wit and sweet demeanor. It's truly a powerful piece of produce. No wonder then that I love to utilize it for coffee cakes, tarts, pies, and of course cupcakes.
This was originally going to be a rhubarb and peach cupcake, but we ran into a hiccup when I could find no peaches (really Nugget, you always have everything but the one ingredient I need), so I decided to substitute in some white nectarines instead which turned out to be wonderful.
The cake is very sweet, and with the fruit quite moist and dense. It almost reminds me of poundcake, but richer and almost fudgy in texture. The nectarines are sweet and create their own juices and syrups when pieced with a bite. The rhubarb adds nice color and a bit of sweet acid, while the cream cheese frosting has that delightful tang I so love with fruit.
It really was a fabulous cupcake, perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun. I can't wait to use up the rest of that rhubarb!
- 1/2 cup of chopped rhubarb (2-3 stalks)
- 3 white nectarines
- 1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 1/3 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- good pinch of salt
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick), room temperature
- 4 oz of Philly cream cheese (1/2 package), room temperature
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (taste as you go)
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Cut the nectarines in half and remove the stone. Place cut side down into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, setting it to roast for the last 5. The fruit should have a dark brown color to it. Let cool then scoop the flesh out of the skin, and discard the skins. Mash with a back of a fork.
- Beat the butter for about 2 minutes until well creamed. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and beat for 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder and sift together. Add some of the flour mixture, then some of the milk, alternating between dry-wet-dry and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined.
- Chop up the rhubarb and mix with 1 tablespoon of flour and coat well.
- Fold the mashed cooked nectarines and the rhubarb into the batter. Scoop into cupcake papers.
- Bake for about 15-18 minutes. Cupcakes will be dense, heavy, and moist. A toothpick should still come out clean (unless it hits nectarine). Let cool on a wire rack.
- Cream Cheese Frosting:Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla to taste. Spread on cooled cupcakes.