Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I wish I could say that all the recipes I create come from my all-encompassing knowledge of food chemistry and methodical, precise recipe development with carefully measured ingredients. The truth of the matter is, I know very little about the scientific balance of a macaroon. When I discovered a passion for cooking, I became intent on creating original recipes that reflect my unique taste, which is strongly influenced by my mom, grandmother, and all the delicious home cooking I grew up around.

Everything I cook or bake is more or less a guessing game. I'll get an idea in my head of what I want to make, spend about 15 minutes looking up similar recipes to get a feel for what ingredients I might use, then rush out of the grocery store with a jumbled pile of ingredients that may or may not make it to the finished product. Sometimes A lot of times, this results poorly. Other times, to my surprise, it turns out really freaking good. This was one of those times.

Alright, so "healthy" could be a little bit of a stretch, but compared to other strawberry rhubarb crisps I saw, this one uses much less sugar and butter. The natural sweetness of the orange juice goes a long way in the dish, and I used the minimum amount of butter and oil to hold the oat crisp together. When it comes to dessert, healthy is a relative term. Healthy without sacrificing taste is difficult; the key is portion control, a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet (with the occasional exception). That said, I'm not going to judge if you have the sudden urge to eat the whole pan.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Serves: 10  Prep: 15 minutes  Total: 1 hour

3 cups rhubarb
3 cups strawberries
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup sugar
1 tbs vanilla
1 cup flour
2 cups oats
½ cup butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tbs vanilla
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbs canola oil
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Chop strawberries and rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and mix in a large bowl. Combine orange juice, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Layer strawberries and rhubarb at the bottom of a greased 8x8 inch pan and set aside.
Soften butter and add in a medium bowl with flour, oats, salt, vanilla, brown sugar, canola oil and cinnamon. Combine until the oat mixture is moist all the way through and spread on top of strawberries and rhubarb. Bake on top of a baking pan (in case of overflow) for approximately 45 minutes until the fruit mixture bubbles and the crisp is lightly browned. Let cool and serve with ice cream.

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