Sunday, May 24, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

To me, great food is a study in contrasts, and this dessert is the queen of them all: the rosy color and sharp tartness of rhubarb, the juicy sweetness of strawberries, the sandy crunchiness of the oat crumble topping, and the smooth coolness of the ice cream as it melts over the warm, tender fruit.. This is my new "desert island" dessert.

This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking. I've omitted the walnuts and crystallized ginger from the topping and the ground ginger from the filling, but if you're feeling adventurous, you could put them in. (For her version, add 1/2 c. walnuts and 1/4 c. chopped crystallized ginger for topping; 1/4 t. ground ginger in filling). My version also contains the zest of 1 orange.

It's a "double" crisp because half of the crisp mixture is pressed into the bottom of the pan. This creates a crust of sorts, but the crisp itself is so deliciously gloppy that it does nothing more than add more "crisp" to the party, which is never a bad idea.

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

For the crisp:
1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. old-fashioned oats
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling:
1 lb (4-5 medium stalks) rhubarb, trimmed and peeled
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. cold water
3 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
zest from 1 orange
whipped cream or ice cream to serve
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a 9-inch square baking pan (Pyrex glass or porcelain is best) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

For the crisp:
Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and sift the ingredients through with your fingers. Pour over the melted butter. Using a fork, stir the ingredients until they are thoroughly moistened.

Spoon half the mixture into the pan and pat it down lightly to form a thick crust; set aside the remainder for the topping.

For the filling:
Slice the rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces and scatter them oer the pressed-in base. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water; set aside. Put the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan and, with a for, pastry blender or potato masher, crush the berries. Place the pan over medium eat and, stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a full boil. Pour the dissolved cornstarch into the pan and, stirring with a whisk, bring everything back to a boil. Keep cooking and stirring until the strawberry filling is thick and no longer cloudy, about 3 minutes. Pull the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla and orange zest, and pour the filling over the rhubarb. Scatter the remaining crisp mix over the filling.

Slide the crisp into the oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the strawberry jam is bubbling up all around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature, with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


amanda said...

oh my... amazing. my mouth is watering like crazy. can you make this again when i get home. please!?

paul jung said...

OK I tried the recipe (after calling Cathy 2 x's) and after our neighbors threatened to eat our rubarb. THis is a big thing for me -- cooking new recipes. I love reading recipes and pouring thru cook books but it actually takes alot for me to cook the new recipe.
It worked and I'll definitely make this one again. It is like eating bubbly warm fruit smothered in melted cream. Thx Cath!
Go Hot Runs!