Saturday, July 13, 2013

Polly's First Rhubarb Crisp

I have eaten Rhubarb pie just once, maybe about thirty some years ago.   It was tart and sweet and delicious.  I always wondered how it is made.  I've seen it sold in the grocery store, and I even remember our garden in Japan had Rhubarb growing.  I don't know how our Japanese nurse mother prepared it, but we all know that we are not suppose to eat the leaves.  I planted my Rhubarb 2 springs ago, this will be the third year.  I think it is ready to test them.  Interestingly my Rhubarbs grew heartedly in the pot.  It has some awesomely beautiful leaves.  I used the scissors to cut them.  Rhubarb stalks are crisp.  If you are not careful when cutting and bump the next stalk or bend the stalk to get to the big ones that you want, it snaps easily. 

 It didn't like to be cropped, though.  I notice the rest of the stalks wilted downward in the afternoon, and I had to put it back in the shady home it ones was located. 

 I thought it will take a long time to cook this Rhubarb chunks with the sugar, but I was totally wrong.  As soon as the sugar melted, the Rhubarbs chunks, too, started to dissolve.  Quick!  Turn off the heat!
 So, here is my very first Rhubarb Crisp.

 I also added a few freshly picked strawberries from my garden.
8 Cups chopped Victoria Rhubarb   -- Victoria Rhubarb looks like mine above in the photo.  The bottom part is reddish and top stalk is greenish.  But any Rhubarbs would do.
3/4 Cup water
1 tsp salt
3 to 4 Tbsp cornstarch, but I use Japanese Potato starch  
1-3/4 C fructose, but I use 1-1/2 C regular sugar mixed with 1/4 C of water.  Fructose is not really good for your liver.
1 Tbsp vanilla

Combine rhubarb, water, and salt in a large heavy pot.  Premix potato starch with 1 Tbsp water.  Set Aside.  Bring rhubarb pot to a boil.  Watch carefully.  If your rhubarb shows the sign of 'tender', 'ready', 'melting away', 'cooked', when you stir, that's enough.  No need to simmer with the lid on until tender.  Give the potato starch mix a stir.   Add to the pot while stirring quickly.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into a 9x13" glass baking dish and set aside.  or use two deep dish pie pan - one for you and one for your relative or friend or office co-worker, .... 

To make Crispy Crust:
1-1/2 C Flour
1-1/2 C quick oats
3/4 C some sort of your favorite nuts - crushed almonds, chopped walnuts, but this is optional
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C butter, cut into small chunks
or any of your favorite Crisp crust topping recipe will do.
Combine flour, oats, nuts, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Preheat oven to 350'F.
Add butter and mix with fingers till crumbly.  Crumble over rhubarb filling.  Bake at 350'F for 25-30 minutes or till the crispy crust look beautiful.

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