Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blackberry Rhubarb Crisp

blackberry rhubarb crisp

I pick blackberries from the school yard and rhubarb from the side yard. I remember to wear long sleeves and long pants to protect myself from the blackberry brambles, but my hair keeps getting tangled up in the thorns. Later I find a picture of my teenaged self picking blackberries with my best pal, both of us wearing overalls with bandanas tied around our heads*. I cut thin stalks of rhubarb from a forgotten plant and free them from their massive leaves. They are red almost all of the way through. I turn them into summertime crisps. I mix and stir the crumb topping with my hands. I bake them in borrowed ramekins and old jelly jars and they spill all over the baking sheet in the oven. We eat them on my brother's birthday with earl grey ice cream on top, after the babies have been put to bed.

Blackberry Rhubarb Crisp
yield 8-10 individual crisps or, 1 9x13 pan 
A few notes on this recipe: If making individual crisps, you'll want heatproof dishes (ramekins, canning jars, etc) that can hold about 6 ounces. The rhubarb gives the filling a wonderful tartness, which is just about perfect with some ice cream on top. I like a fairly equal fruit to crumb topping, so this recipe makes a generous amount. If you don't want to use it all at once it can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. Don't thaw before using, just break up the crumbs and sprinkle them over your dessert before you bake it.

For the Filling

1 1/2 pounds blackberries
3/4 pounds rhubarb, chopped into 1/4''-1/2'' pieces
1 ounce flour
4 1/4 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest (meyer lemon if available)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crumb Topping

6 ounces softened butter
4 1/2 ounces rolled oats
4 1/2 ounces whole wheat flour (or sub half all purpose)
4 1/4 ounces brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375ยบ

1. In a large bowl, gently toss the blackberries, chopped rhubarb, flour, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract together. Set aside while you prepare the topping.
2. In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add in the butter and use your hands to work it into the mixture until it holds together in medium clumps.
3. If making individual crisps, divide the filling mixture evenly between 8-10 ramekins, then top with a generous amount of crumb topping. If making 1, 9x13 crisp pour all of the fruit into the dish and evenly sprinkle the crumb over the top.
4. Place the ramekins or baking dish on top of a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any juices) and slide into the oven. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the the topping is golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream on top.

blackberry rhubarb crisp-5 blackberry rhubarb crisp-2
*No doubt an attempt to channel Angela Chase

15 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! So happy you got your hands on some 'barb!

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  2. Such an evocative post, love this.

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  3. my my, wasn't this the most lovely thing to wake up to on a wednesday morning! had no idea you could still find rhubarb this time of year - maybe will experiment with a rhubarb/apple/ginger combo?

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    1. Thanks lady! I think the NW gets a second crop of rhubarb late in the summer, I saw a lot of it around town.

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  4. EARL. GREY. ICE CREAM! With this crisp! Oh man.

    And this little read was pretty much the best way to start this particular Wednesday. Thanks, lady :)

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    1. Aw, thanks Laura. Earl grey ice cream rules.

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  5. Lovely post. I'm bookmarking this to make, though I won't be able to pick my own blackberries and rhubarb.

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    1. I hope you try the combo, it's really delicious.

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  6. I have the same problem with my hair while going blackberry picking. This year I had it all in a braided pony tail.
    Your individual crisps look so cute. i love single serving desserts

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  7. Always inspiring, your corner of the internet. I love the idea of pairing blackberries with rhubarb.

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  8. They look delicious and the memories are even more delicious.

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  9. this looks so delicious! Any way it could be made Gluten free?

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