Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry -Rhubarb Crisp with Ginger and Orange

As a child, rhubarb is one of the first things I remember growing in my small garden patch. It was one of the first things to pop up from the cold, spring ground. I hated it, but my big sister loved it and would suck the sour stalks like a stick of candy. As I got older, and wiser, I discovered the magic relationship between rhubarb and strawberries. "Rhuberry Pie" is one of my most favorite desserts: Kitchen Bounty: rhubarb-strawberry-blueberry pie.

Sadly, many people don't know about this wonderful plant and the great things you can make from it (stay tuned!). This crisp is pretty straight forward. You can omit the ginger and orange (or add a shot of Tripe Sec). Either way, it's really important to serve it with vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt. It just ain't the same without it. Really.

  • 1 pound rhubarb, diced, (about 2 cups)
  • 2 pounds strawberries, sliced, (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon minced, candied ginger
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch (or 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
  • Grated orange peel (about 1/2 orange)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup "old fashioned" rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon and dash of allspice

Slice the stalks of rhubarb down the center and then cut into chunks about the size of your small fingernail. Place in a large bowl.

Slice your berries. If large, slice in thirds then in half. Add to cut-up rhubarb. Add diced ginger and several grates of fresh orange peel. Do not mix.

Mix together your sugar and cornstarch or cornstarch flour mixture. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats, spices, baking soda, baking powder. Mix in melted butter. Mixture will be lose. When squeezed in your hand, it should hold its shape but fall apart when prodded with your finger.

Pour sugar mixture over strawberry/rhubarb mixture and gently mix with a spatula until well incorporated. Pour into a 10 x 7 x 2 dish. Crumble the topping over the surface.

Bake in a 375 F oven for about 25-30 minutes. Open oven door and dial temperature to 325. Close door and bake for another 15 minutes to allow juices to thicken. The crisp will be bubbly all around the edges and the top golden.

Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.

*The amount of sugar you use is your preference, but you should use at least 1/2 cup. I like a ratio of more strawberries to rhubarb, so I don't use the full 1 cup. If you like more rhubarb, you may want to add more than 1/2 cup.

NOTES: Do not use generic brown sugars since many have less molasses and don't hold together as well. I would have preferred a baking dish maybe a tad bigger. This recipe is easily adapted to your needs. For example, you could do one cup rhubarb and two cups strawberries and simply adjust the sugar to your taste and cut the thickening agent to 1.5 tablespoons. For the "crisp," reduce flour, oats and brown sugar to 1/2 cup each and use only 4 tablespoons butter.