The garden’s in full swing. We’re already eating snow peas and lettuce and chard and strawberries, and the recently planted seedlings are springing to life. Here’s Phil’s snow pea harvest today, which we ate with our dinner; I love this time of year:
I’ve got rhubarb in two different places: The back yard garden, where it’s been for years and has been getting more and more spindly, and the front garden that Phil expanded this summer. The sad rhubarb in the back garden looks like lettuce. The front garden, with lots of sun, is producing big, beautiful leaves and stalks. After traveling for a bit, I came home to rhubarb needing a serious trim, so we had rhubarb crisp that night.
Crisps are one of my favorite fruit desserts to make because the topping is universal, the interior is versatile, and they are as delicious as pie but carry no pie-crust intimidation. Here’s the recipe for an 8 X 8 pan; for a 9 X 13, just double it.
Universal Crisp Recipe
2 to 3 pounds (about 4 cups) cut-up fruit
Sugar (none or 1/4 cup for very sweet fruits like berries, 1/2 cup or so for less sweet fruit like apples, up to 1 cup for straight rhubarb)
Optionally, a Tbsp. or 2 of citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange) and spices like cinnamon, although I rarely use these because I’m lazy
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
Combine the fruit, sugar, and optional spices in a greased 8 X 8 pan. Then mix up the topping, either using a fork, a mixer, or a pastry cutter (my favorite). It’ll eventually resemble small peas, which is what you want. Pour the topping over the fruit and bake for about an hour in a preheated 350 degree oven; it’s finished when it’s lovely and golden on top.