strawberry rhubarb crisp3:00 PM
When I was in middle school my family lived in Wisconsin. We lived in a tiny town way up north that was known for skiing and friday night fish fry's. Our neighborhood was backed by a lake and in the summer my brother and I would go fishing for bluegills that my mother would then cook for dinner. It was a quiet, delightful place to live and I miss it dearly. I also miss our neighbors. About a year after moving into our home an elderly couple moved in next door. They were both retired and instead of working the gentleman poured himself into creating amazing wooden furniture and decorations. His wife built one of the most impressive home gardens I have ever seen where she took great care in growing the most perfect rhubarb I've ever had. And every friday afternoon she would waddle over to our front porch and deliver her strawberry rhubarb pie, hot out the oven. We would polish it off within minutes and on sunday we would return her pie pan back to her kitchen. Sometimes we'd linger and she would tell us about her life, family, her kids and grandkids. There was such a feeling of comfort, peace and coziness in their home at all times and it was a reflection of the wonderful down-to-earth and kind people that they were. Saying goodbye to them broke our hearts and to this day I've never had a better pie.
Now this is a crisp and not a pie and of course it doesn't even come close to the one I'm talking about but for somebody who's not very good at pies or crumbles or crisps this turned out incredibly well! And the best part is just how easy it was. Ina Garten recommends serving it with ice cream which of course is never a bad idea...
4 c fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced
4 c fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/4 c granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c orange juice
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix it into the fruit. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 11-inch baking dish and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
For the topping, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt, and oatmeal. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and the mixture is in crumbles. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering it completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.