Friends, internet, cats: hello. I write and post these pictures in hunger, an activity which I now clump under the category of Hazardous Endeavors, along with sitting next to a carton of Jelly Beans (after the first ten or so, it stops being a delicious pleasure and becomes a serious challenge of matching up the flavors to the supposed “Toasted Marshmallow”s and “Green Apple”s on the back; half the time I think they’re flippin’ a pancake over us all).
In terms of the crisp, I actually baked it a little over a month ago in celebration of early summer produce and Michael’s birthday. So, if it wasn’t written in the stars already, I am late. Heh. But! I still encourage following the seasons, so feel free to substitute nectarines, raspberries, blueberries, apricots, and so on. For now, take this citrusy, extraordinary Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!
I picked up gardening this spring. See that Spanish lavender, and the sage next door? A potato plant can be seen to the left of the lavender (it ooks like a weed…I know, that really narrows it down), but the neighbor chickens have since clucked a bit too enthusiastically, and my little red, blue and yellow spuds are no more. There’s also about 50 carrots (recipes, anyone?) and three little green onions that were completely misleading on their seed packets. Damnit, Ed.
Thousands of stinging nettles and sun-hat-tans later, I am beat! How do those quiet souls do it?!
Amid the gardening, I’ve also been on-and-off renovating (such an impressive-sounding word) the farmhouse that I’m grateful enough to be renting. It’s a chipped kind of white, with the wrap-around porch and whiny screen door. Another little pleasureful fact is that it was built in 1911, and it smells like it. I mean, there’s also that odor of cats.
The house serves as a wonderful bridge between worlds (school and home; outer-suburban-country and confusedly-spread-city; foolish youth and…foolish youth).
And! It’s offered opportunities of good food with lovely people, such as this delightful crisp. “Ethereal” as Honest Fare dubbed it, and quite succinctly at that!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
total time involved: about one hour
serves 6 to 8 lucky gems
adapted from Honest Fare
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons sugar in the raw
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped (1-inch pieces)
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- Do preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Prepare ze topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. I tried one with vegan butter and it was less crumble and more crisp (hence the name) but, to me, ’twas still tasty as hell (which, I must add, is a very wide range of states: cold, hot, hungry, tired, mad, ferocious, crazy, tasty).
- Mix until small and large clumps form. And refrigerate until needed!
- Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
- Remove topping from refrigerator. If it has settled into one giant mound, rough it up a bit with your hands to create the crumbles again. Cover fruit thickly and evenly with crumble (and don’t forget to get the edges good).
- Place pie plate on a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes. If your crumble starts to get too brown, but the fruit isn’t quite bubbling yet, cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking until it does.
- Bon saison!