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Balsamic Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

This evening, I’m meeting with a group of amazing women who work in various realms of the sustainable food movement. We meet for monthly potlucks, and needless to say, there is a serious intimidation factor as this a gathering of highly accomplished cooks.

I decided to bring one of my favorite springtime desserts to share – strawberry-rhubarb crisp. I’m generally a sucker for anything strawberry-rhubarb, and last year started experimenting with the addition of balsamic vinegar to this dynamic flavor duo. I was inspired by Bi-Rite Creamery’s fabulous balsamic strawberry ice cream; added balsamic to my strawberry-rhubarb jam (let me know in the comments if you’d like the recipe) and now, its made its way into the crisp. Try it at home – I bet you won’t be able to stop eating it once you start! And of course this is an easy kid favorite – a low sugar dessert with tons of flavor.

Preparation

Crisp Topping (use on a variety of fruit crisps)

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison

Put 6 tbsp of cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks, into a bowl. Add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or 1/2 cup oats only), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 grated nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon if you like (I opted out for this crisp.) Using your fingers or the paddle attachment on a stand-up mixer, work the butter with the rest of the ingredients so that each piece is coated and a coarse mixture forms (you shouldn’t see chunks of butter, about 2-3 minutes).

This makes enough for one 8×10 or so crisp. I usually double the recipe and freeze the extras – crisp topping is great to have on hand.

Balsamic Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Makes one 10×13 inch crisp

Preheat oven to 375°

Wash, dry and hull 4-6 pints of strawberries. Chop berries into quarters and add to shallow baking dish. Chop 8-10 rhubarb stalks into 1/2 inch pieces and add to berries. Combine with 3-4 tbsp of cornstarch (to thicken the juices) and 1/3 – 1/2 cup of sugar (depends on sweetness of strawberries. I like to use turbinado/raw sugar). Add in 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Be sure all ingredients are well mixed and distributed throughout the baking dish. Top with crisp topping and bake for about 50 minutes.

I am waiting until the party to taste how it came out but it is extremely tempting to sneak a bite now!

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