It’s suuuummmeeeeerrrr! (Did you hear that in an Oprah voice? Yeah, that’s how it sounded in my head too.) I know it's definitely summer - no backsliding into chilly spring this time - because the berries are out of hand ripe, we hit 90 degrees in New York last week, and my neighborhood ice cream shops are jumping with families out for a post-dinner treat. All the more reason to turn on the oven right? Umm, no. Unless you’re making something with all those delicious berries, like these crisps. Then definitely proceed!
I know I’ve been focusing on pie this year, but that doesn’t mean I’ve changed my tune on crisps and crumbles. All the delicious summer fruit and a la mode possibilities with 85% less effort, and as I discovered when I made blueberry pie the other week things come together a whole heck of a lot faster when there’s no peeling (still love you apples & pears!) and minimal chopping. Meaning: these crisps from Fine Cooking Magazine featuring the classic strawberry-rhubarb combination can be in the oven with only about 25-30 minutes of effort. Meaning: a homemade dessert can be yours tonight! Are you sold yet?
Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Crisps (yield: 6 crisps)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl, combine the flour with 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the oats, chopped pecans, and salt. Add the diced butter and rub into the dry ingredients between your fingers until the mixture has mostly pea-size pieces (don’t worry if it’s not uniform). Set aside, in the refrigerator if it’s a warm day.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced strawberries, diced rhubarb, cornstarch, and the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Divide the mixture among six 6-oz. ramekins and top with the oat mixture. It’s easiest to hold the ramekins over the bowl as you spoon in the fruit and topping. The ramekins will be very full but the filling will cook down.
Transfer the ramekins to a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, preferably with vanilla ice cream or a bit of whipped cream.
Slightly re-written from Fine Cooking magazine’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Crisps.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes! I used a small bowl, large mixing bowl, medium cutting board, chef’s knife, and large spoon. I also needed measuring cups and spoons, 6 ramekins (if yours are 7 ounces like mine, then add a little more fruit to the mix), a baking sheet, and aluminum foil. Resist the urge to skip the baking sheet & foil – they will save you a ton of clean up time since these crisps are 99% guaranteed to bubble over.
Rhubarb captured my attention about a year ago and now if I see it on a menu I have to order it. I’ve been waiting semi-patiently for it to arrive in the produce section since about March so that I could cook with it myself. These crisps made the wait well worth it – sweet, tart, just a hint of nutty crunch – delectable with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Please make them before rhubarb disappears for the season!