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From the Pastry Chef: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Writtphoto 5en by Marlo GertzMarlo’s Bakeshop

Since I love any excused to spend a Monday afternoon doing anything but ‘real’ work AND because strawberry rhubarb pie is my Handsome Helper’s favorite dessert flavor combo, I took advantage of the fact that this past Monday, June 9th, was National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day…so naturally, I made a crisp. Why a crisp and not an actual pie? Because crisps (just like crumbles, buckles, cobblers, grunts and brown bettys) are a quick and easy way to turn seasonal fruit into a gorgeous- albeit rustic- fresh midweek dessert. And because I was just too lazy to make fresh pie dough.

This recipe appealed to me more than others because it wasn’t fussy and used simple, basic ingredients that most of us have in our pantries, save the fresh strawberries and rhubarb. If you can’t stop at a road stand in Napa county to buy just-picked berries like I can- well, I’m sorry you don’t live in Northern California – but I am sure farmers’ market berries in any part of the country will be phenomenal stand-ins this time of year.

Method


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the rhubarb, strawberries, ¾ cup granulated sugar and the lemon zest together in a large bowl with 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and add the vanilla to the mixture. Fold this mixture into the fruit gently using a rubber spatula. Pour the mixture into an 8 ÌÑ 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 (butter is the size of peas). Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, covering it completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

*Note: can be made a few hours ahead and reheated right before serving