Dessert


Despite having grown up in Alabama, I know relatively little about how to make quintessential southern dishes. Fried chicken? Made it twice in my life. Grits? I know they’re made of corn, but don’t really know how to make them. I’m sure it’s not hard, but I’d have to follow a recipe, same as any other average joe.



I have a pretty valid excuse though: I didn’t grow up eating these things. My mom never made them so why would I have learned to make them? Well, that reasoning seemed all well and good until I realized that I had no idea how to make cobbler–THE staple dessert at our house in the summer. I didn’t grow up eating many pies, except for lemon ice box pie, which doesn’t even call for a pastry crust, so I don’t know if it even counts for what most people consider pie. I don’t remember any tarts and very few crumbles, but peach or blackberry or blueberry cobbler? I’ve probably eaten 50 of them. Seriously, my parents could be professional fruit cobbler chefs, if such a thing existed.


This is why I am so embarassed that I have to call my mom or dad EVERY time I want to make cobbler. Even with their instructions I have managed to mess it up several times. Take earlier this summer for example. I was following my dad’s recipe that he orated to me over the phone, which called for a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, and enough milk until “it looks right.” I evidently had no clue what the dough was supposed to look like because I stopped adding milk when I reached a biscuit-like consistency and it didn’t work at all.

The key to real southern cobbler is that you pour the topping in the dish (over a bunch of melted butter) and then you pour the berries on TOP. The dough is then supposed to rise above the fruit and ends up on top by the time you’re done baking it. You can probably imagine that a biscuit-like dough wouldn’t magically rise and overtop fruit, and you’re right. I learned the hard way that in order to make cobbler this way you need something that’s the consistency of cake batter.

If you make the batter correctly (which of course you will because you’ll follow the magical recipe below), then as soon as you pour the fruit on top it starts to rise on the edges. Before you bake it, you use a spatula or spoon to “pull” the batter towards the middle and then as it bakes it continues to rise a little more.



When you’re done, you’ll end up with something very imperfect-looking (compared to a perfect lattice pie, for example), but absolutely delicious. You can use any juicy fruit, like peaches or nectarines, or berry–except strawberries, which just don’t have the right texture. My favorite combo is peach blackberry cobbler served warm with vanilla ice cream. It just doesn’t get much better.

By the way, I feel like my last two posts give the impression that the only way I eat fruit is by coating it in sugar and fat, which isn’t actually the case. In fact, there aren’t many things I like more than fresh, untampered-with fruit in the summer. In case anyone is interested in a fresh, healthy alternative to cobbler and ice cream that tastes almost as good and that you can eat (guilt-free!) every day, you can slice any kind of fresh fruit, top it with a 1/2 cup or so of lowfat cottage cheese, and a handful of Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal. I literally eat this almost every day for lunch or an afternoon snack. If you’re not absolutely repulsed by cottage cheese (as I know some people tend to be), then give it a try, but also don’t feel guilty about making the cobbler just because you now know this snack exists. The trick is to eat the cobbler on the weekends and the faux-dessert-snack all week to make up for it!

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Peach blackberry cobbler
Dalrymple family recipe (sugar amount slightly modified)

Makes enough for a 9″x13″ pan, but you can easily adjust all the measurements for a smaller batch.

Ingredients
4 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups blackberries
(or any other combination of fruits totaling roughly 4-5 cups)
1/3 cup sugar

6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup self-rising flour*
3/4 cup sugar
scant 1 cup milk

*If you don’t have access to self-rising flour you can combine a scant cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Directions
1. Put prepared fruit and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until fruit is very juicy, 5-10 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice butter into chunks and arrange in a 9×13 baking dish. Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the butter.

3. Meanwhile, mix the flour and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Add 3/4 cup of milk and whisk together. Continue adding the remaining ~1/4 cup milk until the batter resembles the consistency of cake batter.

4. Take the pan out of the oven, pour the batter into the pan and use a fork to mix some of the butter into the batter. Then pour the fruit overtop. Use a spatula to pull the dough from the edges of the pan over the fruit as much as possible (see photos above).

5. Bake the cobbler for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling beneath. (Five minutes into the baking time you can pull more dough up from the edges to help cover the cobbler, but this isn’t necessary.)

6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, then enjoy room temperature leftovers by the fork-full (if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, that is).

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My favorite part of spring for the last couple of years has been seeing the first local strawberries appear at the market after months of having only root vegetables and greens. This year we’ve been in for a real treat because we’ve been getting strawberries from our own garden! We planted them last fall and they didn’t appear to be doing much until about March, when they almost doubled in size and started flowering like crazy. Since April we’ve been getting at least a pint every other day, which is just enough to snack on for two days before they go bad. The other week I picked up some fresh blackberries at a farm-stand down the road and, as soon as I saw them beside some strawberries on the kitchen table, the only thing I could think about was making a buttermilk cake.

I have Deb from smittenkitchen to thank for originally making and writing about this recipe. I made it a handful of times last summer, each time with a different fruit or combination of fruits. I’ve actually written about the recipe on this site before, so I guess it’s cheating to do it again, but I like it and really, who’s going to stop me?


The original recipe calls for raspberries, but I’ve also used blueberries, nectarines, and now strawberries and blackberries. The cake base is super-simple to make and versatile–the slight tanginess of the buttermilk compliments pretty much anything sweet and juicy you decide to top it with.

The directions tell you to “scatter” berries over the top, but you can choose to press some or all of the fruit down into the batter a little (like I did) if you want it to get submerged in the cake. It doesn’t matter a great deal though. As the cake bakes, it rises and engulfs even the scattered fruit to some degree, so it all ends up incorporated in, rather than a topping on, the cake. You can see that I got a little carried away with the berries. I literally put as many as I could fit on the top–and it turned out perfectly.



In a way, I think finding this recipe last summer has been detrimental to my development as a baker. You see, I really hadn’t tried many simple, basic, frosting-less cakes before, and seeing as how I haven’t tried another since makes me wonder if it’ll ever happen. Oh well, there are worse things than finding the perfect cake early in life I suppose.

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Berry Buttermilk cake
scaled up from recipe on smittenkitchen.com; her version adapted from Gourmet

In the past when I’ve made this cake it has been very thin. This time I wanted something thicker, so I increased the recipe by 50%, made it in a 10 inch spring-form pan, and adjusted the baking temperature and time. I put the adjusted measurements below, but you can refer to the link above for the original proportions, baking temps, etc. I also increased the amount of berries pretty dramatically because I wanted at least one berry in every bite.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter
scant 1 cup sugar + 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1 large egg
3/4 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into large chunks
1 cup blackberries, sliced in half if large

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9 or 10 inch round cake pan.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and scant 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

3. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.  Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top.  Then scatter berries over the top. (I started with strawberries and crowded them in, then pressed many of them into the batter a bit. Then I filled in any holes with blackberries.) Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar.

4. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake an additional 40-50 minutes, until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert on a plate, or if using a spring-form pan, remove liner when ready to serve.

My friend Mandi, who is an awesome baker, let me borrow her Dori Greenspan cookbook last fall and after getting overwhelmed by all the yummy possibilities, I settled on the blondie recipe to try. I love brownies, but there’s something about blondies…maybe it’s the butterscotch? or the coconut?…that makes them really special. Warmed up and topped off with vanilla ice cream–even better!

I ended up making these for a Halloween party–mostly for sustenance at the end of a long night of dance partying. Since it’s been so long since I made them I will let my photos entice you instead of my words.

It honestly took all the strength I could muster to not devour the dough at this point.

Honestly, it’s hard to see how you could go wrong with walnuts, coconut, butterscotch AND chocolate! I know a lot of us are in swim suit preparation/ climbing training mode, so this may not be the ideal time to try this recipe. HOWEVER, if you don’t try it soon, you should at least store the recipe away in your memory bank for next winter!

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Chewy, chunky blondies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dori Greenspan

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store bought chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee Bits
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan and put it on a baing sheet.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Working with a stand mixer, preferrably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated.

4. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the disappear into the batter. Using a runner spatula, stir in the chips, nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best as you can.

5. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert on a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up. (I kept them in the pan to keep them from drying out).

6. Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches.


If you have any berries, nectarines, peaches, or any other slightly tart fruit and are looking for a good recipe to use them in, you should try this one. I found a raspberry buttermilk cake recipe on smittenkitchen.com at the beginning of the summer and have made it 3 times now: once with raspberries, once with raspberries and blueberries, and now with diced nectarines.


This cake is divinely simple to make and a true crowd-pleaser.  It is delicate, moist, and perfectly sweet with a touch of tanginess from the buttermilk and lemon zest. It has been good with all of the fruits I have tried it with so far, and I’m far from done experimenting with what I can do with it!


When I decided to make it this time, I was going to a one-year-old’s birthday party and cupcakes seemed more appropriate than a cake.  I was also still surrounded by a few straggling ripe nectarines that I needed to use up and decided to substitute them for the raspberries called for in the original recipe. This ended up being really good because the nectarines, much like raspberries, are simultaneously sweet and tart. I just peeled and sliced the nectarines into small chunks and then imbedded them in the batter once it was poured into the cupcake tins.


The cupcakes that result from this recipe don’t end up with a “domed” top, but this didn’t really bother me.  The original recipe has you dust the top of the unbaked cake with sugar which results in a crispy, sweet crust. I left the extra sugar out this time, and knowing that the cake would be good enough on its own, I opted not to use a sugary frosting either.  Instead, I chose to top the cupcakes with a simple lemon glaze after they were done baking. The glaze turned out to be WAAAY too lemony (even for me, a girl who loves her lemons) so I included a glaze recipe with fewer lemons and more sugar (this time powdered instead of granulated) below.

Whether you choose to make this into a thin cake like in the original recipe or into cupcakes like I did, you should really give this recipe a try (not to sound like a broken record)!  It is currently my favorite cake! Not that I’m in a rush or anything, but if and when I ever get hitched, I’d even think of having this as my wedding cake.  Not sure how a frosting-less cake would go over with other people, but I think it would be fun and different–kind of like the cherry pie that my friends Lauren and John served at their wedding.  Doh!  Did I just spend a paragraph talking about a hypothetical wedding cake???  Here’s hoping a certain someone doesn’t see this post any time soon… 🙂
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Nectarine buttermilk cupcakes
adapted ever so slightly from smittenkitchen, adapted previously from Gourmet

This made 10 cupcakes for me.

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups fresh nectarines (2-3), peeled and diced

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

3. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.  Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 2/3 full.  Then imbed nectarine pieces in each cupcake.  I used about 6 or 7 chunks per cupcake.

4. Bake until cupcakes are golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Lemon glaze

Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions
Whisk the sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl until it forms a paste. Spoon and spread a dollup of the glaze over each cupcake once they have cooled.

I’m finally wrapping up the posts from my southern meal (see previous pasts on catfish, peas, and collards) and I’ve saved the best for last: dessert, of course!  The funny thing is that what I made for dessert was actually something I grew up eating for breakfast on special occasions. Sometimes my parents would make this when my sister or I had sleepovers, and our friends would often react with skepticism to the idea of eating biscuits with chocolate gravy. But after the first bite, all traces of skepticism left their faces.  If you’re feeling skeptical too, trust me, this stuff is GOOD.

The biscuit recipe is good on its own and I would recommend it for breakfast biscuits to accompany eggs and bacon or to serve with dinner if you make fried chicken or something like that.  However, along with the chocolate gravy, they make a great indulgent breakfast–or perhaps a brunch–or a yummy dessert!

The biscuits are easy enough to make. Once you are done mixing in the buttermilk, don’t worry if your dough is sticky.   This is normal.  Just flour a work surface and turn the dough out of the mixing bowl using a spatula. In hindsight, I think I patted the dough too flat. I would aim for a slab of dough that is about 1 inch thick (I noted this in the recipe below). Another trick that I haven’t tried, but recently read about, is to preheat the oven above 400 degrees (say 475 or 500) and then turn it down to 400 once you put in the biscuits. This way the oven doesn’t dip below 400 when you open the oven door. This is supposed to ensure that your biscuits rise properly (which as you can see, mine did not!).  Luckily, since I was breaking them into pieces and dousing them in chocolate, this didn’t matter too much!  The next time I make them I think I will also put the cut-out biscuits close together on the baking sheet so they are barely touching.  I remember my Dad doing this and I’m not sure what it does, but it might make a difference…

Now that I’ve caught up on these posts from the past, I’ll be excited to share some of the stuff I’ve been making more recently! I’ll try to include some healthy stuff in there since I’m now remembering that this was my original intention with this blog. Ha!  I really did mean well, but five (out of 11) posts containing bacon, obsene amounts of sugar and/or chocolate later, that’s pretty laughable!

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Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy
from my Granny Dalrymple

Ingredients

Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Gravy
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 ½ cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. To make biscuits, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and mix together using your fingers or a pastry knife until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add buttermilk and mix together with a fork until it forms a soft dough. Don’t overwork the dough.

2. Flour your work surface and press dough out with your fingers to a thickness of 1 inch. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out biscuits and put them on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits have some color.

3. While biscuits cook, mix sugar, flour, cocoa and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring with a whisk often until sauce thickens. It should be thicker than hot cocoa, but not as thick as hot fudge. Add vanilla and butter and remove from heat.

4. To serve, crumble biscuits in separate bowls and pour on chocolate sauce.

Vicken’s birthday was last weekend and since I came up pretty short on cool presents this year, I thought the least I could do was make him an awesome birthday cake. The only potential problem with this idea is that Vicken isn’t that crazy about sweets. If only the tradition was to have Birthday Potatoes, he’d be in heaven. But decadent desserts just aren’t really his thing. This is why I was a bit surprised when he actually requested a chocolate birthday cake.

I immediately and selfishly decided that the cake had to be raspberry-chocolate since this is pretty much my favorite flavor combination ever, and then I came across a recipe from the June issue of Bon Appétit that seemed perfect. Everyone who had reviewed it on epicurious.com loved it and multiple people commented on the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet. It sounded perfect!

The recipe is for a 2 layer chocolate cake with raspberry jam and ganache frosting. It yields enough batter to use two 2-inch tall cake pans, which I didn’t have. Instead, I used my standard 1 1/2 inch tall pans and poured a shallow layer of leftover batter into a bundt pan as an experiment. I thought about using 3 standard cake pans, but was worried that I wouldn’t have enough ganache frosting to cover all of those layers. In hindsight, the ganache recipe makes way more than you need to ice the cake, so I probably would go with a 3 layer cake in the future. (In case you’re wondering, the bundt portion of cake yielded a cute little chococate cake wreath which I doused in leftover ganache.)

The original recipe has you top the cake with concentric circles of fresh raspberries, finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar. Once I got done pouring all of the ganache on the cake and creating such a beautiful, smooth, and glassy chocolate surface, I just couldn’t bring myself to cover that and up with white powder. So instead I covered the cake with 2 circles of raspberries and a ring of chocolate chips between them. I think you could get even more creative with how you arrange the raspberries on top, but I would definitely stick with my decision to leave out the powdered sugar again.

After eating a Mexican birthday dinner the other night, we didn’t have much room left for cake. We ate small slivers (which immediately hit the spot) and then put the mostly-whole cake back into the fridge. Another almost-half of the cake disappeared at the 4th of July bbq we had yesterday, and we’ll have to wait and see who eats the rest of the cake. Needless to say, I have a feeling my “diet plans” are going to get pushed back a few days.
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Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake
from Bon Appétit

Ingredients
Cake:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Chocolate ganache and raspberry topping:
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, stirred to loosen, divided
2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
Powdered sugar (optional)

Special equipment: 2 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides

Directions
For cake:
1. Position racks in top and bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds; spray rounds.

2. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl; whisk to blend and form well in center. Whisk 1 cup water, buttermilk, oil, and eggs in medium bowl to blend. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients; whisk just to blend. Divide cake batter between prepared pans (about 3 cups each).

3. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (If cakes form domes, place kitchen towel atop hot cakes, then press gently with palm of hand to level.) Cool completely in pans on cooling racks. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover cakes in pans and let stand at room temperature.

For chocolate ganache and raspberry topping:
4. Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream just to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until ganache is melted and smooth. Transfer 1 1/4 cups ganache to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ganache is thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let remaining ganache stand at room temperature to cool until barely lukewarm.

5. Place rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Carefully run knife around pan edges to release cakes. Invert 1 cake layer onto cardboard round or bottom of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Peel off parchment paper. Place cake layer on round on prepared rack. Spread 3 tablespoons jam over top. Spoon dollops of chilled ganache over, then spread evenly.

6. Invert second cake layer onto another cardboard round or tart pan bottom. Peel off parchment paper. Carefully slide cake off round and onto frosted cake layer on rack. Spread remaining 3 tablespoons raspberry jam over top of second cake layer. Pour half of barely lukewarm ganache over cake, spreading over sides to cover. Freeze until ganache sets, about 30 minutes.

7. Pour remaining ganache over cake, allowing to drip down sides and spreading over sides if needed for even coverage and to smooth edges. Freeze to set ganache, about 30 minutes. (DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before continuing.)

8. Arrange raspberries in concentric circles atop cake. Sift powdered sugar lightly over raspberries and serve.

I’ve noticed that you don’t really have a cooking blog until you’ve written about a strawberry rhubarb crumble you’ve made.  No seriously.  They are apparently all the rage and I somehow made it 27 years without ever trying a strawberry-rhubarb anything.  Done gasping?  Let’s get on with it then.

I got invited to a lab barbecue this Memorial Day weekend and, realizing that this might be my last chance to combine the supposedly magnificent forces of strawberries and rhubarb this season, I decided to make smittenkitchen’s strawberry rhubarb crumble recipe.  This recipe is super simple and the only ingredient I had to buy to make it was the rhubarb!  I love it when I go to the grocery store and spend less than $10!  Believe me, it doesn’t happen often.

From start to finish this took me about an hour and 15 minutes to make.  Not bad, given that 40 minutes of that was baking time.  It then sat around for about 2 hours at the barbecue before it was served and was still delicious.  Although I really like the idea of oats being a component of crumbles, this oat-free shortbread-like crumble topping was stunning.  And the filling?  What everyone says about the sweetness of strawberries perfectly complimenting the tartness of rhubarb?  It’s true.  The two together reminded me of a cherry filling.  Don’t get me wrong, it was really good, I guess I just thought it was going to be something unlike anything I’d ever tasted.  Still, I (and everyone at the party who ate it) gave it two thumbs up.  I’m now willing to venture a little further into the strawberry-rhubarb dessert realm…next spring!  Until then, I hope there will be at least a few summer peach and blackberry cobblers in my future!  Stay tuned!



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Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble
from smittenkitchen.com

Yields 6 to 8 servings.

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (I used an oval dish this time, because they fit better in the bottom of a shopping bag.)

3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.