Photo: Jen Causey; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active time:
30 min.
Total time:
2 hours, 45 min.
Yield
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 [3/4-in.] slice)

This tender rhubarb bread has a light citrusy flavor and beautiful flecks of pink rhubarb throughout. The crunchy streusel on top, complete with brown sugar, pecans, and hints of cardamom and nutmeg, takes this bread over the top and adds a delightfully nutty flavor. Be sure to use the freshest in-season rhubarb possible. Color isn’t always the determining factor in ripeness: When looking for ripe rhubarb, look for stalks about the length of your forearm, about 7 to 15 inches. Although some varieties of rhubarb remain green or white when they ripen, most rhubarb found in stores will be deep red in color when cut at its peak ripeness. Pay attention to the cut ends of the stalks—if the ends seem dehydrated, simply trim them until the center of the stalk appears moist and tender. Be sure to fold in the flour and rhubarb to prevent over stirring, which will lead to tougher bread. Allow your streusel to sit for a while so it can break into different-size pieces. Since this is a dense, moist bread, it’s necessary to coat the pan with shortening and flour. Gently pour the batter into the pan and lightly tap the pan on the counter to help guide it into the corners and spread evenly into the pan. After the bread has had a few minutes to rest after baking, gently loosen the edges from the pan with a small offset spatula, paying attention to not tear or damage the sides of the bread.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Streusel: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together pecans, flour, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg in a small bowl; stir in melted butter until completely combined. Set aside.

Step 2

Prepare the Bread: Whisk together sugar, melted butter, sour cream, orange zest, and juice in a large bowl until well incorporated; whisk in eggs until well incorporated. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cardamom, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Fold flour mixture and rhubarb into sugar-butter mixture just until combined.

Step 3

Spoon mixture into a well-greased (with shortening) and floured 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle top evenly with Streusel, and bake in preheated oven 55 to 60 minutes, tenting bread with aluminum foil after 40 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer from pan to a serving plate, and cool at least 1 hour before slicing. 

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