When I think of rhubarb, I think of the house I grew up in. Behind our house in Wisner, my parents had a rhubarb patch and apple tree. Unfortunately, our tree was struck by lightning so the apples it produced were not edible. I remember my mother sending me out in the summer time to pull rhubarb for recipes she would make. The recipe I remember the most was a coffee cake.
When we moved to Wayne, my Grandma Fletcher helped me plant a garden our first year. When we started, the only thing in the garden was rhubarb and Morning Glory flowers growing up the vine. I really wanted strawberries and pumpkins. I learned a few very important lessons. 1) I don’t have a green thumb. 2) You can’t grow strawberries right away. 3) Pumpkins take over and spread everywhere. My great uncle Bob would often come over and take our rhubarb to make jam. The blessing of course is that he would share it with us for providing the rhubarb.
As an adult, I occasionally find recipes I want to make with rhubarb. My dear friend Chuck even has a whole recipe book with just rhubarb recipes. A few months ago, I noticed they sold it in the freezer section at Hy-Vee. I picked up some rhubarb in hopes of making a few of those recipes.
During a recent trip to visit my family, my sister had the television on The Food Network. The Barefoot Contessa was making a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. It looked so good I decided to make it a few days ago. I wish I could capture the smell of this amazing recipe straight from the oven to share with you through my blog. I guess this beautiful picture will have to do until you cook it for yourself.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp by The Barefoot Contessa
4 c. rhubarb, chopped
4 c. strawberries, chopped
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 t. cornstarch
1/2 c. orange juice
1 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. oatmeal
12 T. (1 and 1/2 sticks butter), chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix rhubarb and strawberries with 3/4 c. sugar. Add orange zest. Dissolve cornstarch in orange juice. Pour into large baking dish (2 qt. oblong). Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, remaining granulated sugar, and oatmeal together. Mix in cubed butter. Sprinkle onto of fruit. Bake for 1 hour.
(Please note – I cut the recipe in half.)