A Summer Dessert
- Servings: 6.
The arrival of local and in-season rhubarb is a sign that summer has arrived. This simple crisp can be made either entirely with rhubarb or half rhubarb and half strawberries (see our tip below), and baked with a sugar and pecan topping.
Make individual servings in 1-cup ramekins or else bake in a single baking dish. The streusel-like topping can also be made in advance and frozen, and used to bake smaller servings one or two at a time.
- Rhubarb Filling:
- 6 cups pieces of fresh rhubarb (about 2 pounds or 6 large stalks, rinsed and dried, cut into ½-inch pieces)
- 1 tablespoon instant tapioca or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (best if from the zested orange)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Butter six 8-ounce ramekins (or a 2 1/2-quart shallow baking dish), and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine the tapioca or cornstarch with ½ cup sugar and the orange zest. Add the pieces of rhubarb and orange juice and toss to combine. Let sit about 15 minutes so that the rhubarb begins to throw off moisture.
- Pour the rhubarb mixture into the individual ramekins or baking dish, leaving behind any excess liquid.
- To make the topping: in the bowl of a food processor, combine all the flour, the remaining 1-cup sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Pulse three or four times to combine and to chop the pecans.
- Sprinkle the 1/2" cubes of cold butter over the flour/sugar mixture. Pulse 4 or 5 times to let the butter mix with the flour and sugar, but leaving some larger bits of butter so as to have a coarse mixture.
- Sprinkle the topping over the rhubarb – about a half-cup per ramekin or the entire amount over the single baking dish -- covering the fruit evenly and completely.
- Bake for 30 minutes for the ramekins, or about 40 minutes for a single baking dish, until the rhubarb pieces are tender, juicy and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. If uncertain if it’s done, test by using the tip of a knife to pierce the rhubarb.
- Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tip: When baking fruit it can sometimes bubble over the side of the baking dish so to prevent your oven from becoming a mess, you may want to put a cookie sheet under the baking dish or at least on the rack below the one holding the baking dish.
Tip: You can substitute a ½ cup of old-fashioned rolled oats for the chopped pecans.
Tip: You can substitute half the rhubarb pieces with 3 cups of strawberries that have been rinsed, stems removed, and cut into ½ to 1-inch pieces.