Rhubarb, Almond & Vanilla Upside Down Cake

This recipe takes me back to early days on my allotment when Rhubarb was pretty much the only thing I had managed to grow. I had an old Rhubarb plant which had been stuck very unhappily in a pot for years. It had moved from Shepherds's Bush to Wimbledon with me and was one of the first things I planted out in the allotment. It was made up. From a meagre sickly plant it just went wild and produced more Rhubarb that me, my parents or even other recipients on the allotment could handle. I love it with its mouth-watering sourness, which when balanced with something sweet is just sensational. I also adore it's beautiful, deep and luscious colour. I amalgamated about five different recipes together and came up with this Upside-down Rhubarb, Almond and Vanilla Cake to try and use some up.  The rhubarb gently stews in it's own juices and ever so slightly begins to caramelise.  Delicious with custard.

Rhubarb, Almond and Vanilla Upside-down Cake

400g pink rhubarb 150g golden caster sugar 130g dark Muscovado Sugar 150g unsalted butter,softened 3 large eggs, beaten 110g  self-raising flour 110g ground almonds 135g (1/2 cup)  sour cream 1 tsp of Vanilla Bean Paste pinch salt

Spring-form cake tin with a diameter of 24cm and a depth of 6cm, greased, sides and base lined with one piece of baking parchment

Serves: 8-10 Cut  the rhubarb into 1cm slices and toss them, in a bowl, with the caster sugar. Tip into your tin and scatter evenly.

Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, gas mark 3.

Cream together the butter and Muscovado sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.  Don't worry if it curdles.  Fold in the flour, almonds, vanilla and sour cream. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth on top of the rhubarb, making sure it is evenly covered.  Bake in the oven for about 3/4 hour or until the cake is firm to a light touch in the centre. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before loosening around the edges with a knife and turning out either onto a serving plate or a wire rack to finish cooling.

This is good served with some custard, clotted cream or vanilla ice cream.

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