Rhubarb may have come and gone in many places around the country, but here in North Dakota, June is peak rhubarb season. I’ve been trying to get my hands on some for a while now but haven’t had much luck until the last week or so then—Bam! Now I’ve got a fridge full of rhubarb.
I had my own rhubarb plant in the back yard when we first moved here. It was a pathetic looking thing but I lovingly transplanted it to a sunny spot and the next year it was looking much happier. It didn’t produce a ton—I think I got one pie’s worth, but what was there was delicious, ruby red, and sweet.
Before it’s curly leaves unfurled the next spring I spotted my neighbor spraying it with Round-Up and then burying the evidence with piles of rocks. Apparently I had transplanted it her side of the garage…where she had plans for a beautiful rock garden. I can’t be too mad at her about it, it was kind of her property; she felt badly and gave me these precious mini pie tins as an apology. But there went my rhubarb aspirations, now I’m just left pilfering from others—not that I would actually steal someone else’s rhubarb, I would never do that……ever.
The sour pucker of rhubarb makes it such a natural for baking. It begs for something sweet to temper it’s tartness and pies, muffins, and cakes all make wonderful desserts, but my absolute favorite way to eat rhubarb is in a crisp. The crunch of the nutty topping gives way to the meltingly tender fruit below, making an irresistible combination.
Strawberries are rhubarb’s most common partner, but I think floral apricots and rhubarb also make a lovely pair and you can always serve some strawberry ice cream on the side so no one feels left out.
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, large dice
- 1 pound apricots, pitted and diced
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven. While oven is heating, place walnuts in the oven and toast until fragrant.
- Combine rhubarb, apricots, granulated sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and stir to combine. Divide mixture evenly between 6 individual pie plates or shallow baking dishes or use a 8 or 9-inch baking dish.
- Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl then add the coconut oil and rub mixture together with your fingers until the oil is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Gather handfuls of the topping and break it up in large clumps over the fruit, dividing the mixture evenly between the dishes. This is easiest if you hold the individual dishes over the bowl of topping as you are covering them, the bowl will catch all the bits that fall off.
- Place the individual dishes on a baking sheet and bake in the bottom of the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is a dark golden. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 411Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 5gSugar: 53gProtein: 5g