When I looked through the recipes to make my choice I immediately was drawn to this strawberry-rhubarb double crisp. I knew nothing at all about rhubarb until March of 2009 when it was the birthday of one of the doctors at my former office. I always made birthday desserts for my coworkers but when I found out that his favorite dessert was rhubarb pie I was clueless. I didn't know how to pick it out at the store, had no idea how it would taste...but I forged ahead anyway! I made the pies, he loved them, and I have made him rhubarb pies for his birthday since! (the office even ordered some this year from me even though I'm not working there anymore. ) I grew to love them so much that I make them fairly regularly for my family, especially around Easter.
So, I was excited to pick a recipe using this under-appreciated ingredient that is in season this time of year. Or so I thought... Apparently rhubarb season differs across the country and has a very small window of time. Though I bought fresh rhubarb to make the doctor's pies just a few weeks ago on March 24th, now fresh rhubarb is nowhere to be found in my town! Then I saw on the TWD P&Q page that it is not yet even available in most areas. Thankfully I found some frozen rhubarb at Kroger so I could make this (how awful would it be to finally choose your recipe and be unable to make it?!?) but I'm sorry to any of you who haven't been able to find the required ingredients!
(I wish I had gotten some lovely natural light pictures but it has been gloomy & rainy all day & of course I procrastinate and don't make it until the last minute ;) )
frozen thawed rhubarb--it works pretty well & is less messy than fresh!
making the smushed strawberry filling
I made my crisp(s) as written and baked them in a 11x7 pan & a tiny oval casserole. I served them to my Bible study girls who very bravely tried this new ingredient, but honestly none of us ate much because we were so stuffed from dinner! Most of them did like it and I was proud of them for trying :). I had planned to bake the crisps for my mom over the weekend and will send the rest to her tomorrow because she loves rhubarb (when I told her my choice she said "who is going to eat it?" and I knew that was a hint).
And now, I can't believe it but I finally get to include the recipe!!
Strawberry-Rhubarb Double Crisp
For the Crisp mix:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
tiny pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup very finely chopped crystallized ginger (*soften in a strainer over simmering water if too hard)
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Filling:
1 pound (4-5 medium stalks) rhubarb, trimmed and peeled
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups (about 12 ounces) strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put a nonreactive 9-inch square baking pan (Dorie likes Pyrex or porcelain) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
To make the crisp mix:
Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, ground ginger, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and sift the ingredients through your fingers to blend them--be on the loookout for lumps in the brown sugar. Mix in the nuts and crystallized ginger, then 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.
To Make the Filling:
Slice the rhubarb into 1/2 inch wide pieces and scatter them over the pressed-in base. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water; set aside.
Put the strawberries, sugar and ginger in a medium saucepan and, with a fork, pastry blender, or potato masher, crush the berries (I had trouble with this and gave it a few whirrs with my immersion blender). Place the pan over medium heat and, stirring occasionally, bring th emixture to a full boil. Pour the dissolved cornstach into the pan and, striffing 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 pour the filling over the rhubarb. Scatter the remaining crisp mix over the filling, breaking it up with your fingers so you can scatter it evenly.
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 (in my smaller pan this was 45 minutes). Transfer the pan to a rack and cool until only just warm or at room temperature.
Thanks to everyone who baked along with me this week! I hope that you didn't have too much trouble finding the rhubarb if you used it!