Strawberries and rhubarb are still on sale at the grocery store.
Somebody give me a hallelujah.
Growing up in Texas, I had no idea what rhubarb was. Oh, I’d heard of it, but I’d never eaten it and I don’t remember ever seeing it in the grocery store. I was in my late 30s before I had a dish containing rhubarb, and it was, of course, strawberry-rhubarb pie. I fell in love.
My whole problem with strawberry-rhubarb pie, like almost any berry pie, is they are almost always too soupy and run all over the place when you cut them, no matter how much cornstarch you use or how much of a reduction you make with the juices after macerating the fruit in sugar. My sister-in-law, Tough Yankee Broad, finally gave me the secret to making a juicy-yet-unrunny berry pie – use quick cooking tapioca instead of cornstarch.
Whaddya know…it works. Like a charm, I might add.
So, this past weekend I found myself in possession of some inexpensive strawberries and rhubarb, but without the ambition required to make a pie crust. So I made a crisp instead.
I love fruit crisps – they’re easy and inexpensive to make, and don’t require any special or unusual ingredients; you should have them all in your kitchen already. You can use tapioca in place of the cornstarch if you want, but it’s not necessary – a crisp, like a cobbler, is supposed to be a bit “jucier” than a pie.
Oh – this is absolutely sinful with homemade vanilla ice cream.
makes 4 generous servings
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
3 -4 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch slices
3 cups strawberries, trimmed and quartered, about 1 pound
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch OR 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 teaspoons Cointreau (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Generously butter an 8×8 baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch or tapioca, Cointreau and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir well, and set aside while you make the topping.
In another medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and another pinch of kosher salt. Cut in the 6 tablespoons chilled, diced butter using a pastry blender, or rub the butter in with your fingers.
Spoon the fruit mixture into the baking dish, then blanket with the topping. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
This was posted in cooperation with Smart Mouth Broad’s Money in the Bank series – check it out for more money saving ideas.