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There are some flavor combinations we just can’t get enough of, especially once summer arrives and all of our favorite produce is finally back in season. We’re thinking cherry tomatoes with fresh basil, or corn with jalapeño, or our favorite of all: strawberries and rhubarb. The sweet, tart, fragrant, juicy combination of these two ingredients immediately transports us to the summers of our youth, barefoot in the grass and ready for a day of playing in the sun. And thanks to Ina Garten’s incredibly easy strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe, you can capture those sunny summer vibes anytime the craving strikes.
The recipe comes from Garten’s cookbook Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? and true to its name, this recipe is very easy to make. Garten pairs fresh strawberries with diced rhubarb (peel any tough skins before dicing) and sugar, then adds orange zest and juice for some additional flavor complexity. A little cornstarch will help the filling thicken up as it bakes, but you don’t need to worry about dirtying an additional pot to pre-cook this fruity mixture on the stove top. You could honestly even mix it up in the 8×11 inch pan the dessert gets baked in rather than dirtying a mixing bowl, too.
Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the buttery, crispy topping. Garten makes hers with a combination of flour, brown sugar, quick-cooking oats (she recommend’s McCann‘s quick-cooking Irish oatmeal), and butter. She says you can even make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free flour and oats, which is such an easy substitution.
As the strawberry rhubarb crisp bakes in the oven, the berries and rhubarb soften, the juices bubble and thicken, and the top gets golden, crispy, and takes on a nutty browned-butter flavor that will have you snacking on the edges while the it cools. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert, or serve warm for breakfast with lots of strong coffee. However you eat it, Ina Garten’s strawberry rhubarb crisp is bound to be a hit.
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