21 June 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Back in the summer of 2004 I made my first Strawberry-Rhubarb pie. I remember it well as I was visiting friends living at the time in Westport, Connecticut: the home of the Talbots-wearing sweater-around-the-shoulder Martha Stewart look-a-likes. The pie was a bit of a risk, as the person I was making it for had all but told me she did not like pie. I don't know if I thought I would win her over, or if I was just dead fixed on the idea of summer pie with those gorgeous shades of crimson and pink. 
Added to this, I was attempting my first lattice. The final effort, despite tasting just fine, was nothing I'd want to replicate for the purposes of taking a photo and displaying with any pride online to my newfound blogosphere friends. Since this time, I've come to the conclusion that lattices are not worth my effort, (especially since they pretty much get destroyed once you cut into the pie) and that I too prefer any of the other summertime preparations of fruit -- cobblers, crumbles, bettys, buckles, and most of all crisps.
Rhubarb itself always seems like a mystery player among produce. It arrives with stealth in relatively small quantities at the farmers markets, (often not seen at all at the grocery) and maintains such a short season that it dissappears with barely a trace, save the extra Crisp in my freezer.
Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp  by Cynthia Olson 

*Note on quantity -- the last time I made this I filled 2 1-cup ramekins, and one deep loaf pan that was approximately 6x8x4 inches to freeze for later.  Really you can fill pretty much any dish for a thicker or thinner crisp and adjust the cooking accordingly.  

4 cups washed Rhubarb, cut into 1-2 inch pieces depending upon thickness of stalks
2 cups hulled strawberries, halved or whole depending upon size
zest of one orange or one lemon
a scattering of white or raw sugar -- approximately 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons of flour (or of cornstarch)
1 cup Oats
1/2 cup chopped nut of choice (I typically use walnut, but almond or pecan would be nice)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 scant tsp cinnamon (optional)
Mix with hands and then add:
6 tbsp unsalted Butter, cut into small squares, plus extra for pan. 
Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
Butter 8x10 ceramic or glass baking dish, or 8 1-cup ramekins.  Mix all into a crumbly concoction and scatter over fruit.  Bake at till the fruit is bubbling up from underneath the crisp, approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour.

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