Saturday, May 19, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

We love cooking for our next door neighbor.  Widow of a veteran, cancer survivor and devout Catholic who is at 8:00 a.m. Mass down the street every morning.  Oh, and she puts our newspaper on the porch daily before we're even out of bed..

So, we take care of her with sliced tomatoes, French onion soup, squash casserole, banana nut bread and homemade jam.  It's become a bit of a contest.  How can we dazzle her with something that will yield and even sweeter, more effusive thank-you note when she returns the baking dish or Tupperware?

I just won.

This recipe was declared the best thing she's ever eaten.  Try it and see if you agree.

(If you can't find fresh rhubarb, you can always use readily-available frozen.)

3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped  
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced (about 4 cups)
12 ounces rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces

Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. Rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and pecans.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 11 x 7 x 2- inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl.  Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.

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. (Blue Bell is preferable.)

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