Growing up, my Mother was a stay at home housewife that prepared a complete dinner for our family every night, often followed by dessert. My Father had a sweet tooth, and my Mother treated him to such traditional 1950’s desserts as Lemon Meringue Pie, Deep Dish Apple Pie, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and lots of fruit crisps and cobblers. Fruit crisps are great because they are quick and easy to throw together, use seasonal fresh fruit, and can bake while you are enjoying dinner. I rarely make desserts for just the two of us, but now having my daughter and her family just down the road, I have three hungry grandkids who will gobble up just about anything I prepare for them, especially desserts, so I find I am baking sweets more often since we moved.
It is finally strawberry season, and big fat, ripe, locally grown berries are finally showing up in our markets. In fact, I hope to go strawberry picking this week. I had the family for dinner last week and wanted to treat them with dessert, so I prepared this tasty strawberry and rhubarb crisp reminiscent of those that I enjoyed growing up. This combination is perfect because although the ripe strawberries are sweet, the tartness of the rhubarb keeps the sweetness level under control. I like to serve this dessert warm with a scoop of vanilla gelato on top, but a dollop of whipped cream is delicious also. You can vary the fruit depending on what is seasonal, as long as you keep the quantities the same. You can also use frozen rhubarb is fresh is difficult to find. I have made this recipe using whole grain flour such as spelt orate flour, and it was just as delicious.
Deborah Mele Revised 2022
- 4 Cups Trimmed Ripe Strawberries, Coarsely Chopped
- 4 Cups Fresh Rhubarb, Cut Into 3/4 Inch Pieces
- 1 Cup Sugar
- Zest & Juice of 1 Orange
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1 Cup All-purpose Flour (See Notes Above)
- 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (Optional)
- 12 Tablespoons Softened Butter or Coconut Oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium sized bowl, toss the fruit with the sugar and orange zest.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice, then stir this mixture into the fruit.
- Dump the fruit into a 8 x 10 inch baking dish or oven-proof casserole dish.
- In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, oats, cinnamon, and nuts if using.
- Add the butter or coconut oil, and using your fingertips, rub it into the flour/oat mixture until crumbly.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit to cover, then bake for 45 to 50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.
- Cool briefly, then serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.