Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

As I was slicing rhubarb over the weekend, making this Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with our girls, I was taken back to baking with rhubarb with my mom. Especially after Tessa asked what rhubarb was and what it tasted like.

I explained that some people say it’s a vegetable and some say it’s a fruit (I looked it up and found that in the U.S. it is considered a fruit, for regulations and duties), and that it is crisp, kinda like celery, and tastes very tart. (To read more about rhubarb, go to my Rhubarb 101.)

Tessa’s four year old mind wondered out loud if she might like it.

So I got out a little bowl and poured a bit of sugar into it. Then I sliced some small pieces of bright red rhubarb and proceeded to give them a little dip into the sugar and pop them into my mouth. Tessa followed suit. And so did Hatti. Over and over again, we did this. All the while, memories of Mom dipping her rhubarb while we baked were bouncing around in my head.



OLD-FASHIONED STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRISP

Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:55 minutes
Total Time:1 hour, 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE STRAWBERRY RHUBARB FILLING:

  • 2 lbs. rhubarb stalks, sliced 1/2″ thick (about 8 cups)
  • 1-1/4 c. sugar, divided
  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened (not melted!)
  • 1-1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3 T. canola oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • First, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with 3/4 cup of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb to the strawberries and discard any rhubarb juice. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla to the fruit and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  • Next, prepare the topping. Combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a rigid pastry blender, mix the ingredients together until large crumbs form. You want to have some larger pieces, and sometimes it just works best to squeeze and crumble the mixture with your hands just a bit at the end.








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