Thursday, May 28

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp

Rhubarb and strawberry: two flavours of spring that go beautifully together. And I do mean beautifully—just look at that gorgeous ruby colour!
There's an abundance of rhubarb growing in my garden and popping up in all sorts of odd places around the property; and shiny plump strawberries are starting to make an appearance at the grocery store. Toss the two together with some sugar and spice, top with a sweet crisp top, and you've got an easy, delicious spring dessert.

The latest issue of Food & Drink magazine has a lovely recipe for Individual Rhubarb Crumbles that I was tempted to try, but with a few tweaks.

I only wanted to make two servings (sometimes I just don't want leftovers) so I halved the filling. But I like a high crisp-to-fruit ratio so I kept the topping measurements as they were. I also replaced half the rhubarb with strawberries in order to add another layer of flavour, highten the colour, and temper the tartness of the dish.

These crumbles—
which we call crisps in my family—come together quickly; and because they're baked individually, they cook fairly quickly as well. Plus, individual baking dishes make a humble dessert like this look fine enough for company.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp
adapted from the LCBO's Food & Drink magazine

Serves 2

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 oz (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces and slightly softened

4 oz rhubarb, cut into 3/4" pieces (about 1 cup)
4 oz strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
dash each of ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg

Special equipment:
2 individual gratin dishes, about 1 cup capacity (I used 4" x 7" shallow oval dishes)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter two gratin dishes and place on a baking sheet.

Combine the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and rub together with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day ahead.

Gently toss the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl. Divide between the gratin dishes. Sprinkle on a generous layer of topping. Don't worry if you don't use it all. I used about 2/3 of the topping mixture on mine*.

Bake, uncovered, until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.

Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and finely diced candied ginger if you like.

Recipe can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. This can also be made in one large dish instead of separate small ones, but allow extra time for baking and cover with foil part way through if the top is getting too dark.

*Extra topping mixture can be sealed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to a month. Sprinkle the mixture onto muffins, cakes, bread or other desserts prior to baking.

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