This recipe was a little bit a departure for me. While I’ve been known to cook up an apple pie or two, I don’t normally venture too far into the world of baking. Not only would I be encroaching on my wife’s culinary territory, I also find myself feeling out of my element when relying on precise measurements and oven temperament.
…and then I discovered the crisp.
This endeavor was actually borne somewhat out of necessity. well, maybe not necessity so much as the desire to not have purchased food spoil and end up as compost.
My wife and I both have a tendency to overbuy when we see delicious looking fruit. It only takes one plump strawberry, or a flat of beaded, glistening raspberrys for either one of us to come home with packages (plural) of nature’s candy under our arms. And that’s precisely what both of us did in this instance.
Once I noticed that the berries were starting to soften, I knew I had to do something delicious with them, so I sought out some rhubarb at Newcastle Fruit and Produce and set about creating this recipe.
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 stick cold butter – cubed
- 2 cups fresh chopped rhubarb
- 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- ¾ cup sugar
For the topping, I combined all of the listed ingredients, except for butter, in the mixing bowl of my KitchenAid, and started combining them on low. After cubing the butter, I dropped the cubes into the mixing bowl one at a time, allowing the mixer to cut the butter into the rest of the ingredients. You could – of course – do this by hand, but it takes a LONG time.
Once the mixture was nice and crumbly, I set it aside as I assembled the filling.
Preheat the over to 350.
For the filling, I sliced the strawberries and chopped the rhubarb into pieces, attempting to keep the chunks relatively uniform in size. Then I simply tossed the raspberries, strawberries and chopped rhubarb with the sugar.
I placed the fruit mixture in a 9×9 baking dish, and spread the topping evenly over the top.
I cooked the crisp in the over (on 350) for 45 minutes, at which point the fruit was bubbly and the topping was browned and crispy (hence the “crisp”).
Once I finally dug in – my wife had to warn me that it was too hot MORE THAN ONCE – it was exactly as I hoped it would be. The crust was sweet, buttery and crisp, but crumbled easily as I dug through it with my spoon. The chunks of crust mixed with the ice cream I had plopped atop my generous helping, and the gooey fruit, in which the raspberries had largely broken down. the strawberries and rhubarb, meanwhile, had maintained their structural integrity, which lent a bit of texture beyond the normal mush of a fruit-based dessert. There was also a nice balance of sweet strawberry and tart raspberry which were punctuated evenly with the oh-so subtle hints of bitter rhubarb.
Were I to make the dessert again, I would consider cutting back on the sugar in the fruit, as it was almost (ALMOST) too sweet.