Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eating Seasonally: Rhubarb Crisp a la Mark Bittman.

Rhubarb is not an ingredient that I've used much in cooking. However, when I last visited my mother she served rhubarb pie with a meringue topping. Thinking it was lemon meringue, I ate it. Not lemon, but good. Darn good.

Inspired, I purchased rhubarb at the Farmers' Market and, as fate would have it, Mark Bittman published a recipe for rhubarb crisp in his New York Times column. I served it tonight for dessert. Fantastic!

I made two addition of ginger to Mr. Bittman's recipe. First, to the mixture of rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice I added two tablespoons of finely diced crystalline ginger. Second, to the crisp topping I added one teaspoon ground ginger. Finally, I kicked-up the amount of lemon zest in the crisp. Bittman's recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of zest. I added a tablespoon.

A crisp for dessert is easy, comforting and delicious. It is a perfect Sunday night treat.

Rhubarb Ginger Crisp.
Adapted from The Minimalist by Mark Bittman.

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pan
2 1/2 to 3 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, tough strings removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons crystalline ginger, finely chopped.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9- inch square baking pan. Combine rhubarb with white sugar, crystalline ginger, lemon juice and zest, and spread into the buttered baking pan.

2. In the work bowl of a food processor, place the 6 tablespoons butter, the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Pulse until it looks like small peas and begins to clump. Add oats and pecans and pulse to lightly combine.

3. Crumble the topping over rhubarb. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until golden and beginning to brown.


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