From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Every year at this time, rhubarb and strawberries flood the produce aisles of our local markets. Having been around the block a time or two, I know its way too early for local crops and yet I waffle and finally succumb. Thoughts of pies and crisps weaken my resolve and these imported villains find their way to my basket, despite my better angels and personal commitment to local produce. I blame the Silver Fox, who loves the combination and begins to lobby for a pie or crisp as soon as he sees the two paired in the stores. I have several recipes for pies and crisps and the crisp I'm featuring today is one of my favorites. It's really simple to make and differs from others in its class because it uses a copious amount of orange zest. The finished crisp has a bright sweet and tart flavor that's hard to resist. The fruit and vegetable base comes from a pie recipe developed for Cook's Illustrated, while the streusel, which originally came from bits and pieces of other recipes, has finally become my own. This is very straight forward recipe that I think you'll enjoy. Here's how the crisp is made.
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Cook's Illustrated
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3–4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4-oz.) cold unsalted butter, diced
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) To make filling: Toss fruit with sugar, orange zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, salt and tapioca. Let stand for 15 minutes.
3) To make topping: Combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, nuts, oatmeal and butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly.
4) Transfer filling to a 2 quart casserole or deep-dish pie pan. Dot with small pieces of butter. Sprinkle streusel topping over mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until top is brown and crisp. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream Yield: 6 servings.
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