Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp

In case you haven't noticed, I have just the tiniest bit of a sweet tooth (no kidding).  It's terrible and a habit I wish I could break (not really, I am afraid).  It was especially bad during my pregnancies--I believe I still have a few of the Milky Ways I enjoyed during that time plastered to my middle.  Although it's abated somewhat, I still have to end the evening with something just a tiny bit sweet.  I'm not picky, it doesn't even have to be extravagant. 

A crisp is one of the simplest desserts around and it goes together extremely quickly.  Despite its rather humble place in the dessert world, I don't think you can go wrong with a sweet fruit filling topped with buttery, brown-sugar crumble.  Since we've had an abundance of fresh fruit in the house, I decided a crisp was in order. 

It can be varied in the topping and filling based on what you have on hand.  I was feeling nostalgic about my Grandma Lois' Cherry Rhubarb Jam (I'll have to get my hands on and share that recipe) and thought I'd give that Cherry Rhubarb combination a spin.  Feel free to substitute another fruit: blueberries, peaches, blackberries, apples, you get the idea...

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp
3 cups pitted cherries
3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and sliced (frozen is fine)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract, optional
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup regular oats
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
4 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt for serving (we did a splash of half and half because that was what was in the house at the time)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a medium sized baking dish (11x7 or 8x8-inch recommended) with cooking spray.
Add fruit, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, lemon juice and almond extract in baking dish and stir to combine. 
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture becomes like coarse meal.  Sprinkle over the fruit mixture. 
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to turn golden on top. 
Top each serving with whipped cream or ice cream. 

Recipe adapted from: The Best of Cooking Light, Blueberry Crisp a la Mode
Note:  This is a very basic crisp recipe.  You can add other things to make it more personal:
I have been known to use whatever odd bits of granola (or crumbled up granola bars), the mangled gingersnaps at the bottom of the bag, lonely graham cracker pieces, chopped nuts etc. I have lying around to make a crisp--just stir those extra bits in with the flour and oats (or in place of the oats) before adding the butter (using more butter if necessary).

1 comment:

  1. YUM! I have always wanted to try to make some healthy variation of this, so you saved me some time! Now I just need to make it gluten-free. I think I have a new homework assignment! :) Homework was never so tasty and fun!