Monday, 25 July 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Crisp

When Brad and I built my vegetable/herb garden last year one of the plants I was excited to have was rhubarb! I hadn't had fresh home grown rhubarb since I was a teenager. Honestly, back then it was just a massive plant that grew like a weed that I totally took for granted. What was I thinking!?!?!

So, last year one of the first plants I got for my beloved veggie/herb garden was a mighty, mighty rhubarb. All last summer I watched to see if this little clump of a plant would grow. I was told by my friend Allison (who is a rhubarb grower from way back) to 'just leave it alone the first year then only pick lightly the second year'. So I did what I was told and let the rhubarb be (doing what I'm told is a rare occurrence but I did it nonetheless).

That first year my little plant went from a small green plant bursting with potential to a small, dark clump formerly known as vegetation. Even though I watered it religiously and may have even given it pep talks in case it wasn't growing due to low self-esteem. I was grasping at straws here trying to encourage this little guy to grow!! For the love of all that is good and holy I just wanted some RHUBARB from my own garden!! Even with all my
whiningcare and love I got no rhubarb last year. *cue Pity Party violins*

Alas, I was not ready to give up on my rhubarb yet! Allison told me that it takes 2-3 years for a rhubarb plant to really get producing. So, in my way of thinking I figured I'd give it this summer to get it together (I'm nothing if not impatient and lacking in basic math skills). Give me some fruit or hit the road, Jack! One can only wait
not sopatiently for so long! I wanted fresh rhubarb!!

Apparently my threats and whining (or perhaps it was Mother Nature and some extra time?) worked! This summer is a different story!! However it happened I now have an abundance of rhubarb this year (but I'm not going whole hog and harvesting too much or my plant will apparently not like it). So many rules for such a sour plant!! Such a diva!

So, when I looked out my window this summer and saw that I had quite a few stalks that should be pulled I admit that I did get more than a little giddy ... and I may have done a little happy dance. I'm a total rhubarb geek ... or would that be 'Reek'? -- no, we'll stick with rhubarb junkie.

But I digress ... with this flourishing plant I made Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Squares in June and had a hankering for more rhubarb yesterday. Picture it if you will: there I was barefoot in my garden pulling out 5 stalks (as well as some ripe strawberries) ... but I had no recipe. Then I thought of one of my favourite desserts, Apple Crisp, and some light bulbs started going off in my noggin (or maybe it was sunstroke?) and I pictured a delicious fruity crisp on the menu! With my strawberries and rhubarb I could make one heck of a dessert! Unfortunately I needed some more fruit to fill the dish so I added a few MacIntosh apples that were just begging to join the party that was my Crisp.

Together they were a delicious combination! Who doesn't love the crunchiness of the oats/brown sugar topping paired with the softness of the baked fruit. Oh good gravy it was G-O-O-D ... good!

Needless to say, less than 24 hours later the crisp is no more. In our house, we have no ability to stop ourselves from eating yummy treats and can literally find a million reasons as to why we deserve to eat 'just one spoonful more'. We're a sad, sad bunch. And I will never, not even under extreme duress, ever admit to sneaking downstairs last night for another taste (ok, dish) of this crisp. No one was the wiser. She who grows the rhubarb, controls the world!! Bwa ha ha!

Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Crisp
From: The Baking Bookworm
Yield: 6 servings

2 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 MacIntosh apples - peeled, cored, and sliced into halves
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine fruit. Add cornstarch and white sugar and mix well until fruit is coated. Pour fruit mixture into a 9x9-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter; using two knives or a pastry blender combine butter with the topping ingredients until it becomes coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over fruit.

Bake for 30 minutes or until fruit is soft. Serve while warm with vanilla ice cream.


Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

Great recipe! I have never baked with rhubarb and I only just tried a rhubarb strawberry pie this year! It was delish and now I know what all the rave is about.

Mandy @ Cater to Me said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! The idea of having books and food (my two favorite things) together in one place is this crisp looks wonderful!

Kate@Fudgy Goodness said...

Yum! Rhubarb is one of my new favourites... thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

Ooh I like the look of this one. I've just bought some rhubarb too.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Dee & Kate - I'm pretty new at baking with rhubarb but there's definitely something about it's texture and it's sour taste that I adore! Plus, it goes so nicely with strawberries!!

Mandy - thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comment! I look forward to chatting with you more!

Lisa -- I hope you enjoy this crisp. So easy to make ... and quite hard to stop eating apparently!! :)

Allison said...

See... good things come to those that wait! :o) Your creation looks delish.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Oh Allison, you rhu guru you! Yes, my patience (however meagre) did pay off! I only wish I would have planted another rhubarb plant this year so that in 2 years I'll have enough rhubarb to freeze a stash for the winter baking months! ;)

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