When strawberries are in close proximity to the rhubarb at the farmers' market, it's time to observe the brilliance of Mother Nature in her ability to simultaneously offer us foods that taste so good together. Hurrah!
Rhubarb is so mouth-puckeringly good. I managed to take a whole bunch of it home after work the other day (Yes! I'm working at the Easton Public Market farmstand) and have been plotting its use ever since. Yesterday at the farmers' market the first local strawberries showed up, so I bought a bunch from Blooming Glen. It's so hard to resist them; they're just gorgeous. And luckily, they are perfectly sweet and flavorful, ready to balance the tartness of rhubarb. I had a knob of fresh ginger kicking about in the fridge, so I grated some in for good measure, too, and let them all sit together for a bit.
- 3 cups sliced rhubarb
- 2 T. sugar
- Scant 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (if large; otherwise sliced in half is fine)
- 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup graham (or whole wheat pastry) flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- Dash of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed and chilled
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Flour and grease a pie plate or other 9-inch round baking vessel.
Combine the rhubarb, sugar, strawberries and freshly grated ginger in a medium sized bowl. Let it sit for a little while (1/2 hour or so) while you go about doing other projects in the kitchen, so the fruit can start to release some juices. Then, add the cornstarch and toss to coat. (Please note: this is not a fail-safe method for thickening your filling, because sometimes, the strawberries give off more juice than you can possibly predict. But it WILL help.)
In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the flours and rolled oats with a dash of salt. Add in the cubed butter, using either a pastry cutter, a couple of forks, or, my personal favorite, your own two clean hands. You want big ole clumps. If it's warm in your kitchen the day you make this, like it was in mine, you'll want to take that bowl and chill it for about 1/2 hour.
Spread out the fruit in your pie plate and then evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit. Bake at for about 35-40 minutes until the top has started to turn golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and cool completely before scooping any out—otherwise you're bound to have gooey runoff.