Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Jumbly crumbly goodness
What is this beautiful dish you see? It is the product of my vivid imagination. You see, I'm taking a risk tonight, dear readers. I'm going out on a limb, I'm baiting the large zoo animal, I am BAKING without a recipe. "What?" you gasp. "Baking is not like cooking, it's a precise art, you need a recipe, Lena! Don't be a hero." "Pooh-pooh," I sniff at you (for I am part Madeline), "I don't need no stinkin' recipes."
This is a Whole Foods inspired dish. I was walking around the Whole Foods, looking for something to make for dinner and there it was, staring me right in the face, challenging me to take it home and treat it nice: Rhubarb. I have never once cooked with it, I'm not even sure that I could accurately describe what it tastes like, but for some reason, I had to have it. I picked out the organic kind (from California - oh well) and grabbed some strawberries to go with it (mostly because they were right next to the rhubarb) and went home. Here is my beautiful fruit:
Yeah, it looks good. I decided to make a crumble, since I'm too lazy to make pie crust (I'm also a little scared of it. Mine has yet to come out right. It's a big source of shame in my life). Here's my totally on the fly, make it up as I go along recipe.
5 stalks of rhubarb
1 lb strawberries
1.5 Tbs cornstarch
1 stick butter (divided)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp ginger
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice and dice your strawberries and rhubarb (in the interest of full disclosure, I had no idea what to do with my rhubarb. I finally decided to cut it up like celery - chop off the ends, cut it down the middle and dice it up).
3. Melt two Tbs of butter and mix in a bowl with your sliced/diced fruit. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch and ginger. Zest the lemon, add the zest, then juice it and add the juice.
Mix it up and set aside.
4. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the flour and salt. Cut up your remaining butter (6 Tbs).
Mix it into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. You can use forks or knives to "cut" it into the flour mixture if you're kinda prissy, but I just use my hands (like in the crumb cake recipe - see here).
5. Put the fruit mixture on the bottom of a pie plate, then cover it with the crumbs.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbling underneath.
It turned out really well. Miriam and I both enjoyed it immensely. The lemon and ginger give the filling a nice brightness and the crust was crispy and not overly sweet. You should make it. It would make you very popular with your housemates. Because of this crumble, I was spared from doing all the dishes tonight. That's the mark of a really good dish.