If I had to choose my favorite dessert, my spirit dessert, strawberry rhubarb crisp would rank among the top contenders. The classic combination of sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb is something I look forward to every summer. In a previous post, I mentioned that rhubarb is known as the “pie plant,” and rhubarb pies are a traditional dessert in New England and the South. But I tend to favor crisps and crumbles over pies. Not only are they much easier to make, I love the contrast of a crunchy topping with the macerated fruit.
I highly recommend this recipe from epicurious. The fruit is elevated by the warm spice of cardamom and nutmeg, and the bright citrus flavor of orange zest. The crumb topping is perfectly crispy with the addition of oats and chopped nuts. The result is an elegant and absolutely scrumptious summer dessert you will crave year after year.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Cardamom and Pistachios
adapted from epicurious.com
For the Topping:
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pistachios (or sliced almonds)
generous pinch of salt
6 tblsp (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the Filling:
5 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices fresh rhubarb (about 2 lbs)
2 cups halved strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tblsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp (scant) ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1. For Filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 x 12 inch baking dish. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir to blend. Let stand until juices form, about 15 minutes.
2. For the Topping: While the fruit is macerating, mix the first six ingredients of the topping in a medium bowl. Add butter, rub in with fingertips until moist clumps form.
3. Pour rhubarb into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle topping over evenly. Bake until topping is golden brown and crisp and filling is bubbling thickly around edges, about 45 minutes. (cover the crisp with foil if the topping is becoming too browned.) Serve with pistachio ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.