(…I’d like to bake with you again?)
Guess what?? I have just become acquainted with rhubarb! Yep, that red celery-ish stuff had never graced my grocery basket or even tastebuds with its presence, but this nonsense is officially over.
My friend Jill invited a couple other friends and me over for dinner a few days ago to help her tackle the yummy grilled vegetable terrine that she had made. Who can say no to that? Seeing this as a golden opportunity to bake something, it seemed like the perfect situation to try out that totally foreign fruigetable. (The more you know: It’s technically a vegetable, but was deemed a fruit in the US in 1947.)
I wanted to make a dessert that was quick and easy since it was already the afternoon. Another prerequisite was for it to be simple, ingredient-wise, so that the rhubarb’s flavor wouldn’t get muddled. This all led me to google rhubarb crumble, and you know what? I looked no further than the first result (unheard of for me!): a rhubarb crumble posted by the popular Elise of Simply Recipes.
It was everything that I wanted and then some: quick, easy, simple, and incredibly scrumptious. The rhubarb itself was juicy with a perfect balance between sweet and tart, and the crumble had a nice light crunch to it. My friend Julie went as far as to say it was the best crumble/crisp/cobbler/etc. she had ever had (which led us to a discussion of the difference between all of those terms), and her savory-toothed husband Andrew went back and cleaned out the dish. Heck yeah!
halved from Simply Recipes (though I suggest making the whole shebang…)
I prepared this in advance, keeping the rhubarb and topping separate until right before baking while we ate dinner, then served it warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup white sugar
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I didn’t halve this and am glad because it was great!)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup of butter (half stick), cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a pie plate or 8×8 baking dish, toss together the rhubarb, sugar, flour, vanilla, and cardamom. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and brown sugar a couple times. Add the butter and pulse a couple more times until pea-sized. (If you’re food processor-less, you can use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
Sprinkle the topping over the filling. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browning and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving. Vanilla ice cream is HIGHLY encouraged here, but whipped cream is perfectly acceptable. :)
Perhaps one’s parents’ tastes influences their own quite a bit as I asked my mom and dad last night whether they had ever had rhubarb. Nope! My sister just told me that she also hasn’t experienced it, so it might be time to make some introductions at the next family gathering. If you are in the same boat as us (hi, we don’t bite!), I encourage you to give this recipe a try and SOON!