Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Eating seasonally can be glorious in July but tedious in February. Just when I began to tire of citrus, along came this month's dark garnet strawberries and tart, slightly retro rhubarb to mark the changing of the seasons.

I am a total sucker for rhubarb. I adore the sharp tang I get when I bite into it, and I look forward to the classic combo of rhubarb and strawberries every year. For Mother’s Day last Sunday, I used a recipe I found in Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. (The author includes multiple recipes for dishes she prepared using the food she and her family grew themselves for a year-long locavore experiment.)

I was a little worried because there didn’t seem to be a thickening agent in the fruit, but the rhubarb sort of melts into the strawberries and thickens up nicely. I doubled the topping because it's my mom's favorite part. Everyone liked it! If you haven’t tried rhubarb, I say: Give rhubarb a chance.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Adapted from Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

3 cups halved strawberries (cut large berries into thirds)
3 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg
1 cube unsalted butter, softened (NOT melted)

1) Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2) In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, and honey. Stir to coat. Pour mixture into the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking pan.

3) In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Whisk together. Cut butter into smaller pieces. Add butter to flour mixture. Using a fork or pastry blender, mash butter and flour mixture until medium-sized crumbs are formed. Sprinkle crumbs evenly on top of the baking dish.

4) Bake about 45 minutes, or until rhubarb can be easily pierced with a knife. Topping should be browned and mixture should be bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

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