Sunday, June 03, 2007

The first 'fruit' of summer - RHUBARB CRISP

Imagine you’re a Saskatchewan pioneer and you’ve just come through a long winter with very little fruit. The canned apples are all gone and you’re down to the last of the dried saskatoon berries. Now imagine just how happy you are to see the first of the rhubarb. Sure, rhubarb is not technically a fruit, but it sure tastes like it in rhubarb crisp, as my mom makes it.

An hour or two before baking, mix together:

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
A dash of salt (optional)

Place the rhubarb in a baking dish. I use a deep round ceramic dish because I like a thick layer of rhubarb; however, my mom uses a flatter rectangular cake pan. Sprinkle on the topping:

½ cup butter, cold
¾ cup flour
A big pinch of cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup rolled oats (not the quick variety)

Cut the butter into small pieces. Mix with the flour and cinnamon. Using your fingers, quickly squish the butter into the flour until there are no chunks of butter remaining. Stir in the brown sugar and oats. Place the topping loosely on top of the rhubarb. Bake at 325F for about 45 minutes. If the top is not as crisp as you would like, place it under the broiler for a minute or two. Serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream.

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