1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Smear a little soft butter on the bottom and sides of 8 large or 10 standard-size muffin tins. Alternatively, for a denser cake, butter the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch oven-safe baking dish.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together with a fork.
3. In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, add the 6 tablespoons butter, the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla. Cream together on medium high for 2 minutes until the butter mixture becomes smooth. Add the eggs and buttermilk and continue to mix until thoroughly combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blend together until a smooth batter is formed. Be sure to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula while mixing the batter.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin tins, filling them halfway (or spread into the bottom of the baking dish). Place the fruit over the batter and press it in just slightly. Sprinkle the pistachio nuts and 1 tablespoon sugar over the fruit. Dot the cake with any remaining butter.
6. Bake the muffins for 30 minutes and the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the batter is fully cooked through and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve slightly warm with a side of whipped cream.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Originally published in Organic Gardening Magazine, April/May 2014 as Simply Fresh: Rhubarb.
Photo: Mathew Benson