The combination of strawberries and rhubarb is one of my all-time favorites. The sweetness of the strawberries mellows the tartness of the rhubarb, yet there is still enough tartness in this crisp to make it bright and lively. I love this recipe because it is so simple, so easy, and it allows the fresh flavors of the fruits to really shine. There is just enough brown sugar to sweeten the fruit filling without overpowering it.
It is lovely here in northern Michigan, and I am thankful to have the chance to spend a few days here at my family’s place, where we can walk to the beach and the town, with a beautiful view of the water in almost every direction. After an extremely busy spring, it is so nice to have some time to recharge and slow down, soaking in the absolute beauty of this area. Just like at home, I like to use food that is in season, and right now strawberries and rhubarb are easy to come by up here at farmers markets and produce stands. WiFi is not so easy to come by here (and that is not always a bad thing), and we don’t have many cookbooks here, so I walked to the library in town to look for a recipe for a fruit crisp. As I was browsing through cookbooks, one recipe caught my eye because of its simplicity. It comes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter.” It is a basic fruit crisp recipe that can be used with any type of seasonal fruit, and I like this recipe so much, I am going to use it for upcoming crisps with raspberries, blueberries, and peaches, as they come into season. I will share an adaptation of it below, using strawberries and rhubarb. I did make a couple of changes–I used all-purpose flour instead of spelt flour since that is what we had in the cupboard, and I added 2 tablespoons more of the brown sugar, since rhubarb is not as naturally sweet as other fruits. Still, this recipe uses less overall sugar than many of the ones I have tried, and I like it that way. You can adjust the sweetness to your own tastes.
Perhaps it is because the strawberries and rhubarb are late spring/early summer fruits, or perhaps it is because I am writing this post very near Lake Michigan, which always makes me feel inspired, but in any case, making this crisp reminded me that summer is still young and full of possibilities. The days are long and full of bright sunlight. I have been breathing in the clean, northern air, and it smells like pine trees and fresh water. It is only just recently that our schedule has slowed down enough that we can have more leisurely dinners. We have had time to eat outside, watching the boats go down the channel into Lake Michigan. Tomorrow we head for home, where it will still be summer, and we will still be able to eat dinner outside. The lakes close to my home are much smaller than Lake Michigan, but they are still beautiful. And as much as I don’t want to leave here, I love to be home. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and savor it as much as possible.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Ingredients for the fruit filling:
- 2 cups of strawberries, washed and sliced
- 2 cups of rhubarb, washed and diced
- 1 tablespoon of flour (I used all-purpose flour, but you can use spelt flour or another type of flour)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (adjust the amount of sugar to your own tastes)
Ingredients for the crisp topping:
- 1/4 cup flour (again, I used all-purpose flour, but you can use the type of flour you prefer)
- 1 cup rolled oats (the old-fashioned kind, not instant or quick-cooking)
- a pinch of salt (optional)
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the fruit and place it in a lightly greased 9 inch pie baking dish. Stir in the tablespoon of flour and the brown sugar and mix until combined.
In a medium bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup flour, the oats, and the salt. Cut the butter in with a fork or a pastry cutter and gently stir/mash until the mixture forms balls about the size of peas. Spread the mixture evenly over the fruit in the pie pan. Bake in your oven for about 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the fruit starts to bubble. Serve warm. It tastes great by itself or with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from “My Father’s Daughter” by Gwyneth Paltrow