I seem to have a bit of a thing for sponge puddings at the moment. The latest a Rhubarb, Orange and Ginger one.
500 g rhubarb
Juice and zest of 1 orange (or about 80 ml orange juice)
Approx 1/4 to 1/2 inch of fresh ginger peeled and smashed a bit and tied in a muslin bag
For the sponge:
110 g butter or margarine
110 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
110 g self-raising flour
1-2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. In a saucepan place the chopped rhubarb, orange juice and zest and the ginger. Cook slowly until the rhubarb is soft. Remove the ginger bag at this stage. Stir in the caster sugar until dissolved. Set aside for later.
3. Now for the sponge. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy (and you can't feel the grittiness of the sugar any more).
4. Add the eggs one at a time with the vanilla extract.
5. Stir in the flour. If the mixture is very stiff at this point add some milk.
6. In a greased pie dish put the rhubarb mixture at the bottom then drop on spoonfuls of the sponge mixture. Spread the mixture out a bit. It might look like there isn't enough sponge mixture but don't worry it will spread out and blend together while cooking so you just have to spread the mixture out a bit. I find if you drop small spoonfuls evenly over the rhubarb mixture it's easier to spread them out a bit.
7. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the sponge is cooked (a metal skewer will come out clean) and golden. The cooking time will depend on your oven so check close to the time.
8. Serve hot (my preference) or cold with custard, cream or ice-cream.
I like ginger so you can use more or less ginger in the rhubarb mixture or omit it altogether. How much sugar you add to the rhubarb will also depend on how sour the rhubarb is and your own personal preference. So taste a bit and add in more if needed.
Another nice variation on this is to omit the ginger and add halved strawberries to the rhubarb mixture later in the season. Have about 2:1 rhubarb to strawberry. You'll need to add less sugar as the strawberries will be quite sweet.