Monday, July 21, 2008
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
There was a going away party for a coworker and after much prodding he requested strawberry rhubarb pie. *sigh* I hate pie. Well, I don't hate pie, I hate pie crust. With a passion. Mostly because I suck at making it. This round (like so many before it) went to the pie crust.
I attempted two different crusts and ended up with the same problem both times -- dry, crumbly messes that didn't stand a chance of rolling out. Plus it was really hot that day and I couldn't get everything done before the butter started melting. After making, chilling, cursing and throwing two different attempts at crust away, I decided a strawberry rhubarb crisp would be a wonderful substitute.
Actually, all things considered, I liked the crisp way more than I would have liked the pie anyway. I actually liked the crisp so much that I made strawberry rhubarb crisp two days in a row, once for the going away and again the next day to bring in to work. The first crisp was the one from my Bubby's Pie book and it was very good and very easy. The second one was adapted from the Dorie Greenspan book and features a double layer of crisp.
Both were good, but the Dorie version won on flavor -- the crystallized ginger was a superb addition and the extra bit of crisp made it that much better. However, I didn't follow the Dorie recipe to the letter -- she wants you to cook the strawberries with the sugar on the stove and I just didn't want to bother with all that. I just threw all the filling ingredients into a big bowl and tossed them together then dumped them onto the bottom layer of crisp. That might very well be why my filling was so runny -- but it was much quicker, much easier, and tasted really, really good anyway.
For the crisp:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (or almonds, pecans or whatever other nut takes your fancy)
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling:
1 pound (I used roughly 3 cups) rhubarb, trimmed, peeled, and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
******* disclaimer ****** this is NOT the way the recipe is written in the book -- the ingredient list is the same, but I made my crisp the lazy way. It was good, but there is a very strong chance it would have been better the Dorie way.
Preheat oven to 350. Use a 9-inch square (I used a deep dish pie pan) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. You absolutely want to do this because it will overflow and will cause a smoky mess all over the bottom of the oven if you don't.
To make the crisp put all the ingredients except the butter into a bowl and stir well. Add the melted butter and stir until incorporated. Put half the mixture into the bottom of the pan and pat it down lightly to form a crust.
To make the filling mix, put all the ingredients into a bowl and toss like a salad until everything is distributed evenly. Put the filling on top of the prepared crust, then top with the remaining filling.
Dorie wants it baked for 60 minutes -- but I only baked mine for 45 minutes. I would check after 45 and use your best judgment, although really, the best decision you could make would be to purchase the book (seriously, one of the best ever) and make the recipe from the book.