I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but we belong to a fantastic CSA here in Ridgefield called the Garden of Ideas. It’s a beautiful place to visit, with lovely wandering gardens, wetlands with wooden pathways, and bridged streams to explore. The boys always love visiting and playing, and the delicious veggies they provide are supplemented with fruit, milk, eggs, juices, honey, and maple syrup from other local farms. My favorite part is their swap system, which allows you to swap out things in the CSA share that you won’t use (like that 3rd head of lettuce) for things from their farm stand that you will (like a bottle of Cherry Stomp, the most delicious juice ever).
This week, I got an excited call from Josh as soon as the CSA pickup email came: “There’s Rhubarb this week! Rhubarb!!!” Josh is a strawberry-rhubarb nut. It’s his favorite pie ever, and I think he was afraid that I would swap his beloved rhubarb for something else that caught my eye.
The problem is, I am almost always disappointed with pie. It always sounds like a good idea, but while I often love the filling, the crust never really delivers. I don’t have the baking acumen or patience to perfect a from-scratch crust recipe, but even when I’ve had pie from uber-fancy gourmet bakeries, it just kind of lays there. Josh shares my opinion of most crusts, but to him the filling is worth it. He knows I don’t agree, and thus his fear that strawberry rhubarb goodness would never be his. What he didn’t know was that I had a plan!
Crumble. I love crumble. I love the crunchy, buttery, caramelized goodness that is crumble topping. Serve it over vanilla bean ice cream, and you have completely got me. I broke out my trusty Epicurious App and started searching, and this is where my cooking style really shows. I am an unprepared cook. It is a rare thing indeed that I actually go to the store with a list of ingredients, or even a dish in mind. Even when I do have a dish in mind, I tend to just grab what I think is likely to be in the dish, so when I sat down this morning to search for recipes, there was literally no chance that I would have everything I needed to follow the recipe exactly.
This morning, I ended up using a modified hybrid of two recipes: The filling and baking instructions for this one and the crumble topping (with cashews and ginger added and no lemon zest) from this one.
So there you go.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 cup dry roasted lightly salted cashew pieces
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved (about 4 cups)
- 12 ounces rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 /2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp flour (to thicken)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 11 x 7 x 2- inch glass baking dish. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Add vanilla, strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Using fingertips, mix butter, brown sugar, ginger, flour, cinnamon in medium bowl until moist clumps form, then mix in cashews. Crumble butter mixture over fruit. Bake crumble until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.