Hello, old friend. Funny to meet you all the way down here! What, you don’t remember me?
I’m talking to the rhubarb. And, no, I’m not crazy.
When I was little, we had a huge garden. At the north end was a rhubarb patch. The coveted red stalks were watched closely as they ripened throughout the short summer. My brother and I loved to dip the tart stalks into a bowl of cane sugar. We had no idea we were eating a vegetable! I haven’t been able to grow myself a patch so far south.
It could be debated if the rhubarb plant is a vegetable or a fruit. The US deemed it a fruit in 1947, which resulted in lower taxation, imagine that. Regardless of its horticultual status – I like it.
Rhubarb was used in our home in pies, crisps, and jelly. There was never enough of the ripe red flesh to go around before the first frost. I saw fresh rhubarb at the store and couldn’t resist the nostalgic temptation to recreate one of my favorite desserts for my own children. Little Sister devoured this simply spiced oatmeal cookie crust floating on a sweet and sour cloud of rhubarb.
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- 1/4 cup sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
In a 8 or 9 inch diameter pie or cake plate (non-reactive because there is a good amount of acid in the rhubarb), place the rhubarb and the 1/4 cup of sugar.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. It will be a loose but thick consistency.
Pour the cookie topping over the rhubarb, spread it evenly over the fruit. Bake uncovered for an hour, or until the edges are lightly browned and the surface of the crust is crisp. Let the crisp cool before serving warm.
You could add diced apple or strawberries to the fruit bottom of the crisp. Or leave it alone to be enjoyed with a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream. I think it’s best served naked and warm.
To make a variation equally as delicious, add some diced apple to the base of the crisp. A pinch of cinnamon would be a welcome addition. Just don’t forget the ice cream (or frozen yogurt for the ones watching what you eat).