Rhubarb is such a special ingredient. It lets us know that winter is officially over and warm weather is right around the corner. For pastry chefs it is the first produce after a fruit dry spell. Sure, citrus is still around but other than that it’s slim pickings.
If you made my apple-cranberry crumble then you already know how easy crisps and crumbles are to make. This is even easier than the apple crumble because you don’t need to pre-cook the fruit. Just cut it up, mix with the other ingredients, cover with the streusel and bake. Super quick and easy!
You can find rhubarb at farmers markets and sometimes even in whole foods. It is tart and crisp but softens when cooked. It looks a bit intimidating if you have never cooked or eaten rhubarb but this recipe will be your gateway drug into the world of rhubarb. Next thing you know you will be anxiously waiting for rhubarb season and making pie and ice cream! At the beginning of the season they are a beautiful with both a pink flesh and skin. Later in the season they remain pink on the outside but the flesh tends to turn green. It still tastes delicious, just looks a little different.
8 cups Rhubarb chopped (5-6 short stalks)
1 cup Sugar (or vanilla sugar)
3 TBSP Cornstarch
1/4 tsp Powdered Cinnamon
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Zest
2 tsp Fresh Orange Zest
1 tsp Fresh Lime Zest
1/2 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Grated Nutmeg
1) Chop rhubarb into 1/4 inch thick slices and reserve
2) In a separate bowl combine all the other ingredients. Toss with rhubarb and allow to sit 15-30 minutes until rhubarb begins to release liquid. During this time prepare the Brown Sugar Streusel and pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F
3) Re-toss the rhubarb and place in a 9×12″ baking pan. The rhubarb should mound above the top as it will cook down significantly.
4) Top liberally with the Streusel and bake 30-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. I recommend putting a cookie sheet under the crisp to catch anything that might drip over the sides. (Cooking if fun, cleaning up is not!) Pierce with a knife in the center to make sure the rhubarb is soft and fully cooked.
5)Serve warm with ice cream (I like ginger best!)
Brown Sugar-Oatmeal Streusel:
1 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cups Quick Cook Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 TBSP Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 ounces Butter, chilled and cubed (1 stick)
1) Mix together flour, sugars, spices and oats.
2) Using a mixer with a paddle attachment or your hands work the butter into the flour mix until it resembles sand. Do not over mix. Store in the refrigerator up to one week until needed. Great on crumbles, crisps and as a muffin topping. If you have any extra you can bake it off on a cookie tray until golden and use as an ice cream sundae topping.
Besides these crumbles I make lots of other things with rhubarb. Upside down cake, sorbet, muffins, sundae toppings. I’ve even been known to juice them and use the juice in a cocktail with gin, lime and club soda. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.