Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

We are in April and I just got back from soccer practice..... It is still so cold that I was wearing my big winter puffy down jacket and my winter hat with the ear things ...!?!
All that made me think of a real spring...with temps in the 70s and the flowers blooming... and the first strawberries...Like when I was growing up in France. And rhubarb.

Our friend Marie-Anne used to grow rhubarb in her yard...or should I say on her farm!!! The kids always called "Le Pic", the name of the estate, the Farm! There were rabbits, hens and roosters, even a horse and donkeys! And the rhubarbs that transformed pies into something Marie-Anne would make simple pies with a crust and the rhubarb on top, with sugar of course! Simple and so very delicious! I tried to make it... but unsuccessfully.

I have however made this dessert with strawberries and rhubarb...the two flavors just compliment each other... the delicate sweetness of the berry and the rustic tartness of the rhubarb...

But did you know??? Rhubarb can be poisonous!!  ... only if eaten uncooked!!! No danger here though!

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

serves 10

3/4 cup pecan halves
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/1/2 lb rhubarb
2 cups strawberries, stemmed
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Spread the pecan halves on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Set aside.
Raise oven temperature to 375 F (190C).
Place the cooled nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until nuts are chopped into medium bits, but not powdered. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, orange zest and nutmeg.
Transfer this mixture and the butter to the food processor and pulse until it starts to come together. Add the nuts and pulse 3 or 4 more times to distribute evenly. Set aside.

Trim the tough end and leaves from the rhubarb stalks and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a bowl with the strawberries, the flour, the sugar and the vanilla. Toss until well mixed.
Place the fruits in a baking dish and sprinkle with the topping.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until bubbling around the edges.
Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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