Rhubarb has come into season here in the cold north, and while I can’t say I’m much of a fan, my spouse is — I suppose its only fair that he gets to have something he likes every once and a while.
I’ve never grown rhubarb so I can’t tell you much about how to grow it except to say that if you live in the right climate it doesn’t seem to take much work. Growing up, it seemed anyone with a yard had a massive clump of rhubarb tucked into a back corner or next to a shed. Even the most untended yards, occupied by discarded household appliances and car parts, and home to extremely negligent residents managed to keep an old rhubarb (probably the remnant of a long gone former tenant) alive with barely a glance in its direction. While I figure rhubarb isn’t a particularly taxing plant to manage, we just don’t have the space to commit to a large, leafy plant whose season comes and goes in a heartbeat.
Every spring I buy a few stalks at the farmer’s market. While I don’t love the tartness, I can’t seem to resist those pretty, bright red stalks! And if you mix them up with the right ingredients rhubarb is actually kind of tasty.
Notes: You can double the Crisp Topping mix if you like a thick and crunchy topping. I added ginger and orange juice because we had some kicking around that was about to go off. It makes a very interesting flavor but of course you can omit both or all and still turn out a great tasting crisp.
- 2 cups diced rhubarb stalks
- 2 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
- 2 cups diced fresh strawberries
- 1/8 tsp fresh grated or finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave syrup (dry sugar works too)
- Juice of 1/4 of an orange (optional)
- 1 tbps flour
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flakes or oatmeal
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup brown sugar (The amount depends on what you are used to. I use less because we eat very little sugar)
- 1/3 cup of cold, cubed butter
- pinch of powdered ginger
1. Place filling ingredients in a bowl and toss until the fruit is coated.
2. Dump ingredients into a 9″ square or round baking dish.
3. Combine crisp topping ingredients in a food processor. Mix until crumbly. Break up any large chunks of butter with a fork.
4. Spread the crisp topping evenly over the surface of the dish, covering all the fruit.
5. Bake at 350F until the topping is brown and the fruit is tender.
6. Serve warm or cold. It tastes good no matter how you eat it.