Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rite of Spring: Rhubarb Crisp

It was almost exactly five years ago that my friend Lindsey gave me cutting from her beloved rhubarb plant. It had grown to an immense size and needed to be divided, and since I'd regaled her innumerable times with my rhubarb history, she deemed me worthy of inheriting a chunk of her leafy offspring.

My initial idea to plant it on one end of our raised beds was a definite miscalculation. Within a couple of years it had almost completely taken over half the bed with its spreading branches (far left), requiring transplanting to another spot where it could leaf out with abandon.

That move, of course, set back any harvesting for another couple of years, but finally this spring I managed to pull off a few early stalks, enough to make the first rhubarb crisp of the year (right).

Rhubarb Crisp

For the topping:

1 c. flour

3/4 c. uncooked rolled oats

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted

For the fruit:

4-6 c. rhubarb, cut in 1/4" slices
1 c. sugar

1/4 c. triple sec, Cointreau or other orange liqueur
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Mix together dry ingredients in medium sized bowl. Pour in melted butter or margarine and stir with fork to distribute. When well-mixed and crumbly, scatter on top of fruit in pan.

Slice fruit into large mixing bowl. Add sugar, water, cornstarch and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Put in 9” by 12” by 2” baking pan. Scatter topping mixture evenly over the top and bake in 350 degree oven for 55 min.

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