Monday, July 4, 2011

Rhubarb Crisp

If you live in the Maritimes, it's likely you've had your share of rhubarb desserts - rhubarb pie, rhubarb crisp, even rhubarb punch. It seems that our climate is ideally suited for growing massive amounts of rhubarb for the entire growing season, forcing cooks to come up with ways to consume or preserve the annual rhubarb harvest. For those who run out of ideas, a cop out is to give away batches of fresh rhubarb, delegating the task of using it up to someone else who may not be sick of rhubarb yet. For example, the other day I came home to find that a Sobeys bag full of rhubarb stalks had mysteriously appeared at my door. I never did ask, but I suspect my mother. She has been making rhubarb crisps up the wazoo, varying them by adding strawberries or raspberries. Truthfully you can almost always count on a crisp for dessert when having dinner at their house this time of year. While I enjoy her version of the dessert, she does tend to try to make it a healthy dessert, meaning it's a bit dry and sometimes not quite sweet enough.

I've tried making crisps before, but never hit on the right balance of ingredients for a crunchy but sweet crisp and fruit combination.
Faced with this bag of rhubarb on my kitchen table, I decided to set out to find a rhubarb crisp recipe that I would enjoy making and eating. The secret of a good crisp is butter to make it moist and sugar to cut the tang of the rhubarb. Really, if you're making a dessert, make it a GOOD dessert! Eat healthy food the rest of the day and enjoy a small portion of a really delicious (and often unhealthy) dessert.
I found this recipe on the Toronto Start website, and honestly it was so good I could have eaten the whole pan. I've made a few tweaks, added some spice and reduced some sugar, but kept the gist of it.

Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
This recipe calls for a 8x8 pan, but I made it in a 9x13 and it turned out quite nicely. If you want a thicker crisp, use the smaller pan

1-1/2 lb rhubarb, washed, trimmed, cut in 1/2-inch dice (about 6 cups)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup butter, melted



In large bowl, toss rhubarb, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Transfer to lightly greased 8-inch square baking pan.

For topping, toss together flour, sugar and oats. Drizzle in butter. Mix well with fork. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture.

Bake in preheated 375F oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

~~~ Stay tuned for more ways to enjoy rhubarb! ~~~

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