Did you notice the fresh new look for this space? Over the years, many of you have remarked on how much you enjoy the views of Lake Huron in the posts I publish from our summer getaway there. So it seemed natural that the new look for the blog would centre around the view from my kitchen window at the beach … water, sky and sand.
And for those of you with a sharp eye (a very sharp eye indeed), there’s an extra treat. If you look carefully, you’ll notice something in the water right under the downward stroke of the letter ‘D.’ No, it’s not a whitecap, it’s the Culinary Enthusiast in our little boat, speeding toward shore and about to anchor for lunch (after which he’s heading across the lake to the American side to pick up Chicago John — of From the Bartolini Kitchens fame — and Zia for an afternoon on the beach and dinner 😊).
The blog isn’t the only thing to have gotten a facelift around here. In May I had the pleasure of teaching a “Fresh Spring Harvest” cooking class for the London Community Resource Centre. The menu featured lots of asparagus and rhubarb, including a tweaked version of my Sassy Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp. I highlighted even more of rhubarb’s tang in this version (making it sassier), and baked it in a pan as opposed to individual ramekins. This allowed me to stretch the tasting to about 15 people (and I certainly don’t have that many ramekins, despite the overcrowding in my kitchen cupboards). I also changed the original muesli-based crumble to one that uses oatmeal since we don’t always have muesli in the pantry.
Admittedly, the tweaks to the recipe represent more of a facial than a facelift, but forgive me for working my theme a little too energetically here.
Please let me know what you think about the new look for the blog, Facebook page (please visit and ‘like!’), and the even sassier crisp.
Even Sassier Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp
Many recipes mask the tart flavour of rhubarb with lots of sugar and/or sweeter fruit. I deliberately let the rhubarb shine in this dish, by using about twice as much rhubarb as strawberries and only a minimal amount of sugar. If you like your rhubarb sweeter, you can increase the sugar to 1/3 cup, but I really, really think you should give the rhubarb a chance to really shine.
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Butter 6 ramekins and set on a parchment paper-lined baking tray to make clean-up easy just in case there’s any bubbling over. You could also make this in a single 9-inch serving dish, in which case you may need to increase the cooking time by another 5 minutes or so. If you like a higher crumble-to-fruit ratio, by all means go ahead and make more. Serves six.
Rhubarb Strawberry Filling
- 2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 – 3/4 inch pieces)
- 1-1/2 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp finely minced orange zest
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp flour
Toss the rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, ginger, orange zest, and orange juice. Sprinkle the flour across the surface. Stir with a large spoon until everything is evenly distributed. Spoon the luscious fruit filling into the prepared ramekins or pan. I take no issue should you decide you pop a few pieces into your mouth.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, cane sugar or turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup large flake oatmeal
Combine the sugar, flour and ground ginger in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the oatmeal. Using a tablespoon, sprinkle the crumble over the fruit mixture, ensuring each portion receives an equal allotment of crunchy goodness.
Bake for 35 minutes if using ramekins or 40 minutes if using the 9-inch pan, or until the crumble is golden brown and there’s hot pink volcanic bubbling action.