Rhubarb Cherry Crisp

Rhubarb Cherry Crisp
Merry summer everyone! Happy heat wave! What could be summery-er than a recipe featuring rhubarb? (Camping, swimming, reruns, s’mores, sandals, sunburns, fireworks, you say? Well, ok smart-aleck, but rhubarb is in there somewhere, too.) I do realize that the odds are you’ve never crunched into this giant red celery look-alike, whether slathered with sunscreen (either it or you) or not. So first off, don’t crunch into it at all, lest its ridiculous tartness pucker you permanently, and second, do give ‘er a whirl all cooked up. Great in both savory and sweet dishes, it is such a natural pairing with other fruits that I prefer my rhubarb in crisp form to any other. Do not fear its raw fibrousness either; when cooked properly each bite obligingly disintegrates in your mouth as if it’s purpose in life were to, well, obligingly disintegrate in your mouth with melty perfection. Yep, sweet lady rhuby is worth a try at least once.

Care for some notes? This recipe uses cherries, but peaches or berries are just as tasty. Also--no angry messages please--the topping is a crisp rather than streusel. And finally, for those who don't know, macerate basically just means to marinate fruit. The rhubarb's own moisture will be drawn out and combine with the liquid called for below. Do not worry, there will be enough. Enjoy!

Macerating Liquid
  • Juice and Zest of 1 large orange

  • Juice and Zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  • 2 Tblsp Corn Starch

  • Pinch (approx ¼ tsp) Cardamom

  • Approx 4 stalks Rhubarb, washed and chopped in 1 in pieces

  • Approx 3 Cups Bing Cherries, washed and pitted(Need about 8 cups of fruit total)

  • 1/8 Cup Candied Ginger

  • 2 Tblsp Fresh Thyme, washed and pulled from stems

  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

  • 3/4 Cup Flour

  • 1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oatmeal (not instant)

  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, cold

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

  1. Mix the Macerating liquid ingredients together well. Pour over the Filling ingredients in a large bowl and stir to cover. Allow to macerate for at least 1 hour.

  2. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl add the Topping ingredients, cutting in the butter. Mix well with a pastry blender or a fork until it resembles coarse, wet sand.

  3. Stir macerated filling to ensure the corn starch is evenly distributed. Add mixture to a 9x13 pan. Add the topping by gathering a ball and pressing between palms to create what resembles a very thin hamburger patty. Place these on the top as close together as possible, covering the filling.

  4. Bake approx 45 minutes until fruit is tender and the topping crisp. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

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