Strawberry-rhubarb combos make me instantly think of summer. My mother used to buy strawberry rhubarb pie from our local supermarket as soon as it became available (baking wasn’t her favorite pastime…). Back then, I thought the rhubarb was too sour, but now I appreciate – and look forward – to the sweet-tart combination.
I was getting ready to attend a co-worker’s rooftop barbecue a few weeks ago, and I’m the type of guest who feels somewhat obligated to bring something to the party. It’s always a dessert! And I had actually just received rhubarb from my week’s farmers share. For those of you living in New York City, definitely check out CSA in NYC – it stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and I think it’s an amazing system. Local farmers from the Hudson Valley area deliver produce to city dwellers once a week between June and November, “sharing” whatever they’ve harvested that week for a upfront cost of around $400.
I actually partnered up with another participant so I’m getting half a share weekly, which is plenty. There has been lettuce galore so far, but this one particular week we received rhubarb. It wasn’t enough to make an entire pie, so I ended up having to buy several more pounds from Whole Foods. But it was totally worth it.
Crisps are my jam (no pun intended). Pie crusts, not so much. But give me a slightly warm crisp with some cold vanilla ice cream, and I’m in summertime heaven. I started with this Bon Appetit recipe (when in doubt, search Epicurious.com for inspiration), and just reduced the amount of sugar in the filling and nixed the cardamon, which I didn’t have on hand at the time. The recipe called for 2 pounds of rhubarb, which I think was a bit excessive – you could get away with 1.5 lbs, depending on your desired strawberry-to-rhubarb ratio (I tend to like more strawberries).
Be sure to get yourself some vanilla ice cream with this dish. I personally don’t think it’s the same without it!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- 1/2 cup oats (old fashioned work better than quick cooking)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (butter should be cold)
- 1.5 lbs rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 cups strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp flour
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare the filling first. In a big bowl, mix the sliced rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar, orange juice, and flour. Set aside.
- To prepare the topping, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl until mixed. Dump in your cold butter cubes, and pinch together your fingertips with the butter and oat mixture to form small pea-sized clumps. It’s okay if the clumps aren’t all the same size – just make sure the butter is evenly distributed among the oat mixture. (Note: It really is important that you slice and use the button when it’s relatively cold – right out of the fridge – so that the clumps hold together and form those crispy clumps we all love.)
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Spoon the strawberry rhubarb mixture into plate and top evenly with the crisp. Place the plate on a baking sheet (to avoid any spills going into your oven). Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and you can see the filling bubbling slightly.
- Remove crisp from the oven and cool slightly. Serve with your favorite ice cream.