Recipe for rhubarb crumble

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By: Rachel Shenk

Rachel Shenk

Spring is here with gloomy grey skies and intermittent rains. The world around us loves it. Redbuds and lilacs sparkle with lavender, grass and trees grow lush greens and yellow dandelions are sprouting in all kinds of places.

My favorite plant of the season is now producing. I’m talking about rhubarb. With its tangy flavor and its blushing pinks, the first bite of the season always knocks me over. When I cut into it raw, it always smells like a wild plant. And when it’s done baking, it surprises with its full flavor. Nothing like a good rhubarb dish to make me happy!

So today, as the rain falls, it’s a good time to stay in and work in the kitchen. I turn the oven on and it takes away the chill and dampness in the air. First, I mix the crumble. Then, I dice the rhubarb stems and measure them out, like little green and pink jewels. Finally, I stir the filling and watch it go from opaque to clear. I assemble it all in a clear dish so I can see it bubbling when it comes out of the oven. I smell it as it bakes. Okay. Ready? Only one thing left to do: I take that first bite and sure enough, moans escape, mouth breaks into a smile, eyes roll backwards, foot is stomped. It is confirmed: I love rhubarb.

Here is my go-to recipe when the first rhubarb appears.

Rhubarb Crisp

Mix until crumbly:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1½ cup rolled oats
  • 1½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Press half of crumbs in a 9 x13 greased glass dish.

Cover with 8 c. diced rhubarb.

Combine the following:

  • 1½ cup white sugar
  • 4 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cook until thick and clear. Pour over rhubarb. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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