Monday, May 17, 2010
The verdict is in... crisp is best!
o, after all that running around hither and yon through the interwebnets, when it came right down to it this weekend, the crisp won out. Yep, that dessert I make ALL. THE. TIME. (Maybe that's the reason I make it all the time, eh? IT WORKS.) I experimented with another recipe from my Thursday 13, but it is really not worth talking about, and I don't want to get into it for fear the author might happen by and be offended. Maybe it was just MY tastebuds. Yeah, that's it. (No, that's not it. Rhubarb needs sugar. Lots of sugar. I should have read more closely.) And so that put me off trying any of the others, which really isn't fair, but that's the way it goes, right?
The crisp was sublime. Yes, I was very hungry, having gone a couple of hours too long without food. But husband agreed--he was the one who had requested crisp be among the dishes of the day--and we both had a lovely bowl a la mode.
And while I was looking around at crisp variations online (having discovered that for all my making, I haven't posted a recipe, tsk tsk), I found an intriguing variation in crisp recipes, where the crisp is layered. What I think of as the topping, split between top and bottom, with the fruit in the middle. Take a look here, and here (what, Jell-o? Really?).
I would have thought the concept not really particularly compelling, except for the fact that last evening I was rushing it a bit and pulled the crisp out of the oven a bit prematurely. I had already spooned some into husband's bowl when I thought to test the rhubarb, which had a bit too much crunch to it. So back in the pan it went, all crumbled-up-like, and it resembled those crisps I'd read about, with some of the oat mixture on the top, some on the bottom, and a lot mixed it. Have to say, once the rhubarb was properly cooked through, it was very good, if not a bit better than usual... I'll be fiddling with that and maybe even coming up with our own new name for it... if it already exists, feel free to burst my bubble. I can handle it.
The Why Experiment? Rhubarb Crisp
4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup canola oil (I know, shocking to not use butter, but I swear it was delicious)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Toss the rhubarb with the cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix the topping ingredients thoroughly in a separate bowl. Fill an 8x8 inch glass baking dish with the fruit and top with the oat mixture. Pat down the topping until smooth, and place in the oven on a baking sheet (in case of bubbly fruit spillovers). Bake in the middle of your oven for 50-60 minutes, until the fruit has baked through and the topping has browned slightly.
And, like most fruity desserts, this one can handle being made with all manner of fruit--berries, peaches, apricots, cherries... the list goes on!
I can also attest that this dessert is fabulous as leftovers. Just call it my own little after-school snack! Maybe even for breakfast tomorrow...