Yeah, remember when I was all, I’m tired of baking, see you in May? Well. I forgot. I live on the west coast! And here? It’s strawberry and rhubarb season. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for strawberry-rhubarb season to come back? A long fucking time, my friends. A long. Fucking. Time.
And so I came out of my brief baking hibernation to honor the beginning of strawberry and rhubarb season with a simple crumble. Because remember what it’s like to taste the first really ripe strawberry of the season? It’s like being locked in a sealed chamber for 6 months and then all at once sticking your whole head outside. It’s like being sick and not getting out of bed for a week and then waking up one morning, feeling fantastic, and stepping outside into the sunshine. It’s like drinking warm water for your whole life and then accidentally sipping a glass of ice cold seltzer.
It’s mother-effing reFRESHing is what i’m trying to say here. And my friend Lyd was in town to take a break from being a scientist, and we were having wine and cheese and a big salad, and we felt that we needed to cap the dinner with some sort of delicious baked good. So we made this. And, this strawberry-rhubarb crumble was totally lovely, it was. But here’s the part when I finally learn the difference between a crisp and crumble. Most notably: crisps are crisp. Crumbles are not. I really felt like there needed to be a crisp topping here, and I missed it. The strawberries and rhubarb bake down so nicely into this jammy consistency, and the crumble topping, delicious though it was, was just kind of THERE.
I say this, but then Lyd and I ended up eating 7/8 of this crumble that very night. Between the two of us. Over several glasses of wine, a few games of Pass the Pig, and a grand finale of drunk M.A.S.H. Holler at me girls, am I right? Any and all men can stop reading here, because you’re just not going to GET the rest of this paragraph. Fucking M.A.S.H., yo!!!! Because we could barely remember the categories, we updated them to semi-adult themes. Which is why it was determined, according to my own M.A.S.H. fate, that my husband (a secret) and I will have sex 28 times a week but I will only orgasm 5 times a week. It’s like. I don’t even care that I ended up a mechanic who drives a scooter whose first daughter is named Crystal. 5 per week? That is just…sad.
To bring it back to the food, this being a baking blog, albeit a slightly adult-themed baking blog, TAKE A LOOK AT THAT PICTURE BELOW. I mean, talk about orgasms. If I was married to this crumble, maybe things would be different, do you know what I’m saying here????
from Smitten Kitchen
Yields 6 to 8 servings. <—whaaaaat?
For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch (some commenters found the flour option a little too, well, floury so this has been updated)
Pinch of salt
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (I used an oval dish this time, because they fit better in the bottom of a shopping bag.)
3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.