Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

Strawberry is definitely my favorite fruit to pair with rhubarb. Raspberries, peaches, and even apples all can make fantastic dishes in combination with rhubarb, but there's something about strawberries that complements the rhubarb particularly well, especially in that fleeting time when both are in season (which has yet to come in this area). My favorite fruit desserts are usually the simplest, using just a few ingredients to accentuate all the best characteristics of the ingredients without taking over the flavor of the dish. With sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and a crumbly streusel topping, how can you go wrong? Swirl a bit of rich, vanilla ice cream into warm crisp for a sweet, tart, rich, and crunchy dessert packed with the flavor of early summer.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble
adapted from Tamasin Day-Lewis in Bon Appetit, via Epicurious

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
Large pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup husked hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved (about 4 cups)
12 ounces rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
Vanilla ice cream

1. Combine flour, turbinado sugar, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. Rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and nuts. DO AHEAD: Topping can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 11 x 7 x 2- inch glass baking dish. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk to blend well. Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.

3.Bake crumble until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.

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