featured-images-1-2I made a pilgrimage to the DeKalb Farmers Market yesterday and was immediately taken with the enormous table covered in strawberries. And then bought half a flat of them. Yup, that’s about 6 of those little pint baskets. I was also happy to see that they had rhubarb, because the last time I went looking for rhubarb, I went to the Farmers Market, Publix, Kroger and 2 of the 3 Whole Foods in Atlanta and no one had it in stock. I was a little grumpy that night. However, yesterday was a shiny happy day filled with strawberries and rhubarb! Thus, by law, I had to make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. I’m a big fan of cooking fruit in the crisp format (fruit and whatnot on the bottom, crumbly deliciousness on top). There’s none of the fussiness of making a pie crust and who can resist the blend of oatmeal, butter and brown sugar? Certainly not me.

I think of the recipe I used as my step-mother’s since she gave it to me, but on a hunch I decided to google some of the key ingredients in case I needed to attribute it elsewhere. Yup, the ever delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe is featured on the About.Com Southern Food website and is attributed to Diana Rattray. Thank you Ms. Rattray for bringing this wonderful recipe to my step-mom’s attention and thanks to my step-mom for passing it on to me. I adapted the recipe slightly, but the essence is the same wonderful treat.

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Filling:
4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb*
5 cups strawberries, hulled, rinsed, sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
*  I used two stalks of rhubarb and came in slightly under 4 cups. It still worked.

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‘Crisp’ Topping:
3/4 cup (6 ounces) sweet butter, cut into pieces
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped chopped nuts (your choice, I used walnuts)
Pinch salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten

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1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter the bottom of either 1 large baking dish, or two smaller dishes. Or, if you’re me, the medium pretty dish and the utilitarian auxiliary dish for whatever is left.

2. prep the rhubarb. If rhubarb is a foreign entity to you, there is in fact a website called “All About Rhubarb” that you can check out, but the short of it is that rhubarb is what brings that wonderful tangy flavor to the dish. To prep it you basically wash it, cut off the ends and slice it up. As the referenced website notes – some rhubarb you have to peel off the outside. I had hothouse rhubarb so I didn’t have to, but I did some anyway because it makes curly pretty stuff. Kind of like pulling cheap ribbon along scissors.

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3. Hull and slice up the strawberries.

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4. Combine the strawberries and rhubarb. Toss with the sugar and lemon zest. (note – the original recipe called for orange zest, but I had lemons. It’s all citrus…).

 

5. Dissolve the cornstarch in the grand marnier and then stir into with the strawberry mixture. I let that sit and soak while I start on the topping.

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6. Throw the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a big bowl and start to mush it together with your hands (or a pastry cutter, but really?). Note – the butter should be chilled at this point. Rub the mix between your fingers until you get a nice crumble. You will end up with lots of bits sized everything from sand to pea.

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7. Toss the chopped nuts and the salt in the bowl. Mix again. Finally, lightly beat an egg and add that to the bowl last. Stir it in with a fork until everything seems to be combined nicely.

 

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8. At this point you should spoon the strawberry mixture into the waiting dish(es).

I say spoon instead of pour because you want to be very careful not to get too much of the residual juice from the bowl in the baking dishes or you will end up with a crisp fail.

<– Kind of like this.

 

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9. Once the filling is in the dishes, it’s time to get your hands in the mix again and crumble handfuls of the topping over the filling. Don’t be afraid to put a whole lot on there.

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10. Place in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

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Enjoy by itself, with some delicious vanilla ice cream
or a nice dollop of fresh whipped cream. Yum.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled, rinsed, sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ‘Crisp’ Topping:
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) sweet butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ cup chopped chopped nuts (your choice, I used walnuts)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
Instructions
  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter the bottom of either 1 large baking dish, or two smaller dishes. Or, if you're me, the medium pretty dish and the utilitarian auxiliary dish for whatever is left.
  2. prep the rhubarb. If rhubarb is a foreign entity to you, there is in fact a website called "All About Rhubarb" that you can check out, but the short of it is that rhubarb is what brings that wonderful tangy flavor to the dish. To prep it you basically wash it, cut off the ends and slice it up. As the referenced website notes - some rhubarb you have to peel off the outside. I had hothouse rhubarb so I didn't have to, but I did some anyway because it makes curly pretty stuff. Kind of like pulling cheap ribbon along scissors.
  3. Hull and slice up the strawberries.
  4. Combine the strawberries and rhubarb. Toss with the sugar and lemon zest.
  5. Dissolve the cornstarch in the grand marnier and then stir into with the strawberry mixture. I let that sit and soak while I start on the topping.
  6. Throw the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a big bowl and start to mush it together with your hands or a pastry cutter. Note - the butter should be chilled at this point. Rub the mix between your fingers until you get a nice crumble. You will end up with lots of bits sized everything from sand to pea.
  7. Toss the chopped nuts and the salt in the bowl. Mix again. Finally, lightly beat an egg and add that to the bowl last. Stir it in with a fork until everything seems to be combined nicely.
  8. At this point you should spoon the strawberry mixture into the waiting dish(es).
  9. I say spoon instead of pour because you want to be very careful not to get too much of the residual juice from the bowl in the baking dishes or you will end up with a crisp fail.
  10. Once the filling is in the dishes, it's time to get your hands in the mix again and crumble handfuls of the topping over the filling. Don't be afraid to put a whole lot on there.
  11. Place in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
  12. Enjoy by itself, with some delicious vanilla ice cream or a nice dollop of fresh whipped cream. Yum.
 

 

Song of the Dish: Summer Sunshine by The Corrs