I still think about that conversation every time Easter rolls around. And yes, he’s still a good eater. Come to think of it, I was actually eating a bowl a of strawberry-rhubarb crisp when that very conversation took place.
There are a few crisp topping recipes I go back to again and again in the summer, when fresh, plump fruit cries for inclusion – there’s the crisp topping in the back of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit, which is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, and a great one on the apple crisp in Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Dessert Book.
But I wanted a topping recipe that would be easy to memorize, because I always seem to find myself somewhere away from home with a crisp to make. This one is perfect – nutty and crunchy and sweet, but not so buttery that the topping takes over the flavor of the fruit.
I use an oval-shaped (roughly 7″x11″) baking pan for a deeper crisp (I piled the fruit high in the pan before baking), but a 9″x13″ pan would work fine, too.
Recipe for Rhubarb-Apple Crisp
Recipe 98 of 365
With tart, fresh rhubarb and my favorite pink lady apples, this crisp strikes the ideal balance between sweet and sour. Serve it with vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche, or a big dollop of Greek yogurt.
The topping should be simple to remember—it’s just 3/4 cup each flour, oats, brown sugar, and nuts, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3/4 stick of butter.
TIME: 15 minutes active time, plus baking
MAKES: 6 servings
For the filling:
Vegetable oil spray
1 1/4 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2” chunks
3 pink lady apples (or any firm, slightly tart specimen), chopped (peeled or unpeeled)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 7”x11” or 9”x13” baking pan lightly with the vegetable oil spray, and set aside.
Stir the remaining filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until the fruit is well-coated with the flour. Transfer to the baking dish and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes.
While the fruit bakes, make the crisp topping (you can use the same big bowl): mix all the topping ingredients except the butter together in the bowl, using your hands to break up any clumps of brown sugar, if needed. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients, and mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
Scatter the topping in an even layer over the fruit, place the crisp dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake the crisp an additional 30 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling.