Thursday, June 11, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I've been looking forward to strawberry and rhubarb season for a while now -- I even saved a strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe on Epicurious about a month ago. On Sunday Justin and I were driving back from visiting family in Pennsylvania, and there was an open-air market along the road with mostly plants, but a few fruits and veggies as well. They had a lovely little carton of bright red strawberries, and I thought to myself, I guess I'm making strawberry rhubarb crisp this week! I got the rhubarb from Whole Foods, since the rhubarb at the market was too green.

The enchanting ingredient in this crisp is cardamom. I bought it special for the recipe, but I had been looking for a reason to buy it for a while. It gives it such a nice flavor, but not so strong that it's overpowering. Other interesting ingredients include nutmeg and chopped almonds in the topping. I'm used to making fruit crisps with cinnamon, and I was tempted to use it in this recipe, but at the last minute I went with the nutmeg and am glad I did. It goes really nicely with the cardamom. I didn't have an occasion to make this recipe, so I halved it to get only four servings. That's the perfect amount for me and Justin to finish off in two days. I baked it in a loaf pan in my toaster oven. I even found lactose free vanilla ice cream to put on top! Breyer's makes it, and I must say, it really made this dessert complete. I love warm fruit crisp with vanilla ice cream on top. The ice cream starts to melt and then you get tart-sweet-creamy flavor all in one bite.

Go out of your way to make this recipe if you have to -- it's really worth it! And use fresh (dare I say) organic fruit. It makes a big difference to have full flavor strawberries compared to others that are pumped up to be big in size but not big in flavor.

This is the link for the original recipe. If you want to make a half recipe for just two people, cut the ingredients in half, use a loaf pan instead of a large square pan, and bake it at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. You can even use a toaster oven to save energy.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Adapted from Bon Appetit March 2005
Serves 9

*Updated 6/25/11 - Made this again recently, and got a better photo here. I whipped cream for a topping and added cardamom and nutmeg. It was a-ma-zing! Give it a try.

Topping:
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (half a stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Filling:
5 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices fresh rhubarb (from about 2 pound)
2 cups halved strawberries
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in large bowl; stir to blend. Let stand until juices form, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 8" x 8" glass dish. Pour filling into dish; top evenly with dry mixture. Bake until golden brown on top and filling bubbles around edges, about 45-50 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top, or fresh whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pour ingredients into a large bowl. Mix with electric handheld mixer until soft peaks form. Do not overmix.

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1 comment:

LynnaeEtta said...

Yum, yum, yum! This looks (and looked when I saw it today) delicious! I'll have to work on a gluten-free version... :)