I cooked with rhubarb for the first time last night. And if you don’t know what that is, don’t feel too bad – I only learned what is was a few years ago. In fact, the salesgirl at Market Street didn’t know what is was either.
The reason it ended up in our cart at all was because I had another miscellaneous veggie or fruit spot on our grocery list left to fill and I wanted to try something new. The deciding factor was I was already getting strawberries and I had heard that rhubarb paired well with them in a myriad of desserts. I bought three stalks of it and tossed it in our cart with everything else, dreaming of pies or crisps or crumbles. I mean, what better way to try a new food?
When I got home, I started searching for a suitable recipe – i.e. one that called for strawberries and rhubarb, did not require any zany ingredients I couldn’t justify purchasing for one recipe, and sounded good. I ended up adjusting the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. The adjusting was required because I had 2 1/4 cups of rhubarb and not the 3 cups it asked for (I made up for the other 3/4 with strawberries) and I did not have allspice on hand (which makes sense since I had no idea what it was). I used a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg mixed together instead (as suggested by several sites I found through Google).
I must say that despite my tweaks, it came out very well. It had a mix of sweet and tart to it, and I imagine it would have been fantastic with ice cream. I say imagine because unfortunately there is none in our house at the moment (but don’t worry…I may be sending Andrew out for whole milk and whipping cream so we can make some). I’m guessing that if I had used 3 cups worth of rhubarb the sweet and tart balance might have shifted a little to the tart side (and then perhaps it would have been even better with ice cream). The color as you can see from the pictures was a beautiful red color. I’m tempted to double the crumble topping next time though just because I really like the topping.
Below is the version of the recipe I made:
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
oven preheat: 350 degrees time in oven: 40 – 50 minutes makes: one 8 x 8 crisp
Ingredients (for fruit mixture):
- 3 3/4 cups strawberries, halved
- 2 1/4 cups rhubarb, chopped
- 1/2 cup honey
Ingredients (for the topping):
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or a bit more, to taste)
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice substitute (made by measuring out 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, and 1/4 tsp. numeg which I mixed together and then pulled 1/2 tsp. from; if you like more of a cloves and nutmeg taste, bump them up to the same amount as the cinnamon)
- 1/3 cup butter (basically 5 1/3 tablespoons)
- Mix the strawberries, rhubarb, and honey together and pour into an 8 x 8 ungreased pan.
- Mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice together.
- Cut in the butter to the topping mixture until crumbly.
- Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden.