Things get old. I, for instance, am getting older. My 27th birthday is but 2.5 mere weeks away. That is a frightening thought, because I’m pretty sure when I was 17 I pictured myself having my fucking shit together by age 27. I was married, I had a mortgage on a home, my husband and I had a dog and were contemplating actual children, and I worked in some sleek looking office with creative types where I had to kind of dress up and I complained about it but I secretly liked it. I wasn’t single, living with roommates, boozing several nights a week, with no set career path to speak of, still wasting entire evenings to shows such as “Millionaire Matchmaker,” not contributing to my 401(k) (or my 403(b) holler nonprofit workers!), and still getting pimples when I get stressed out.
No, this wasn’t the plan at all. Which isn’t to say that I’m not having a grand old time. I am. But this just wasn’t the PLAN.
Do you know, readers, what never gets old? Strawberries and rhubarb. I know, you’re seeing this recipe and you’re throwing your hands up all, again? This? Don’t you have any better ideas?? Ever? Aren’t you supposed to get older AND wiser? Whither the wise?
Well, friends. I’ve learned that wisdom comes in many forms. One aspect of being wise is knowing what you like. I am Very Wise in this regard. I fucking KNOW what I LIKE. And guess who’s near the top of that list?
So here we are with another recipe for strawberries and rhubarb, together. Because I’ll keep getting a year older. Springs will pass me by, year after year. And each spring, I’ll still want to make strawberries and rhubarb during that too-brief season in which they exist in tandem. Because they’re good together, and I like them, and I want to keep pushing my relationship with them forward. So DEAL WITH IT.
To be noted in this recipe: pine nuts in dessert, YES, this doesn’t happen enough! Black pepper in dessert, welcome! Didn’t know I loved you, but I do, this might be awkward for you considering we just met. Buckwheat flour substituted for spelt flour: Chalkville, USA. I suspect buckwheat and I don’t love each other. He’s kind of a ruiner, as it were. Hey, maybe that means I should try to date him, because THAT’S not a mistake I continue to repeat. Yeah, so, I guess the “wiser” part of “older and wiser” is up for debate.
Heidi’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
from 101 Cookbooks
butter for greasing skillet/pan (about 1 tablespoon)
3/4 cup / 3 oz / 85 g spelt flour
2/3 cup / 3 oz / 85 pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup / 2.5 oz / 75 g unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g natural cane sugar (or Muscovado sugar)
1/2 lb. / 8 ounces / 225 g hulled medium strawberries, cut into quarters
12 ounces trimmed rhubarb, sliced into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup / 60 ml port wine (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F / 190C, with a rack in the middle. Butter a 10-inch round gratin dish (pictured), or a 9×9 square baking dish.
Combine the flour, pine nuts, oats, sugar, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Use a fork to stir in the butter, squeeze into a few patties, then place in the freezer to chill at least ten minutes.
Make the filling by whisking together the cornstarch and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the strawberries and rhubarb, and toss until evenly coated. Wait three minutes, add the port and toss again. Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, remove the topping from the freezer, and crumble across the top of the filling – make sure you have big pieces and small.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the topping is deeply golden and the fruit juices are vigorously bubbling. You’ll want to let things cool a bit before serving, 20 – 30 minutes.
Serves a small crowd, 8 – 12 servings.