First Day of Summer Rhubarb and Berry Crisp

Happy First Day of Summer- watch for tomorrow night’s super moon! I spent the morning weeding and harvesting the fruit for the crisp- I just got back in from watering and weeding- a farmers work is never done-

Elizabeth’s Summer Rhubarb-Berry Crisp

Just about to hit the oven-

Just about to hit the oven-

This is a recipe that I have returned to over and over again. I was asked to come up with a fabulous recipe while working as the Executive Chef in a production kitchen. The topping can be used for any fruit you choose – so it is handy basic that will see you through all four seasons!  It is especially delicious as apple crisp in the fall- add a teaspoon of cinnamon and make sure to choose a tart apple – mine is the Spy- Galas are another good option.  This recipe is versatile and you can use any combination of rhubarb and berries of your choice- Blackberries do not work well here. My favourite combination is rhubarb raspberry blueberry – strawberries, which are in season, now are also delicious.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes  Baking Time: 50- 60 minutes  Serves: Eight or more  Difficulty Level: Easy

Fruit:  4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 medium stalks)  4 cups fresh berries, raspberries, strawberries or blueberries or any combination -washed and hulled  3/4 cup granulated sugar  Grated lime zest and the juice of one lime – (roughly 2 teaspoons)  1 teaspoon of PURE vanilla  1/2 cup of fruit preserves- I used my blueberry – champagne preserve- the better the quality the more intense the flavor  1-tablespoon cornstarch  1/3 cup freshly grape juice – pomegranate juice is delicious- you can use what you have on hand- orange or even apple will do.

Topping:  1-cup all-purpose flour  1/2-cup white sugar  ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed – do not use dark brown sugar it will burn  ½ teaspoon kosher salt  1-teaspoon cinnamon  1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant) oatmeal  3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the baking dish.

For the fruit: toss the rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries with ¾ cup granulated sugar, the vanilla and the fruit preserve and the lime zest together in a large bowl. Let it sit for a few hours to macerate to develop flavor.  In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the grape juice and then mix it into the fruit. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 × 11-inch baking dish and place it on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper. This is important because the crisp bubbles and will spill all over the oven.

For the topping: in a large bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt, the cinnamon and oatmeal. Add the melted butter and press together with your fingers and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and if you squeeze the dough comes together. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and press it down and into the corners to cover it evenly.

Place on a baking sheet lined with foil to catch the fruit juices.

Bake for 45 minutes -1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. If it is browning too quickly reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees.

To Serve:

Serve with: Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt -vanilla scented whipped cream or vanilla yogurt and a mint leaf as a garnish.  If you prefer more topping you can double it and the results are delicious!

Cheers! Chef Elizabeth

The harvested fruit-

The harvested fruit-

The macerating Fruit-

The macerating Fruit-

The fruit waiting for the crisp topping -

The fruit waiting for the crisp topping –

Rhubarb Crisp - out of the oven

The Harvested Fruit -

The Harvested Fruit –

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