Alessandro's Fantasy Come True

I made a strawberry rhubarb crumble a couple of weeks ago.  And as I was making it, Alessandro said, "You know you're fulfilling one of my fantasies right now.  I've always wanted something strawberry rhubarb."  

Wow, I know.  Anyway, let's move on. 

I was inspired to make a strawberry rhubarb crumble after seeing the plentiful supply of rhubarb at Eastern Market and after seeing a pretty straightforward recipe one of my new favorite food blogs:  www.101cookbooks.com.   Click here for Heidi's recipe, which I followed very closely.  Here's what I did after she told me to:  


3/4 cup spelt flour
2/3 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup instant quick rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar in the raw 

1/2 lb (8 oz) of strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters.  (I cut the bigger strawberries into eighths).  

3 stalks of rhubarb, ends cut off and cut into 3/4 inch pieces

Before I told Alessandro what I was planning on making, he had told me that our food budget for the week was pretty tight so to only pick up the essentials.  "Can pine nuts be essential?" I asked.  "No," he replied.  But good thing I didn't listen to him.  Instead, I went to Rocky's in Eastern Market where they sell pine nuts by the pound.  Pine nuts were $17.99/lb at Rocky's, so I ordered 1/4 of a pound and left with a little over that (0.30 lbs) for a total of $5.40.  I thought that was a nice compromise for Alessandro and I.  

The recipe was pretty easy.  Here's how it went down for me:

How To

Preheat oven to 375 with a rack in the middle.  Spray a 10 inch round pie dish with Pam (baking style, not vegetable style).  

Combine flour, pine nuts, oats, sugar, salt and pepper together in a bowl and mix together.  Stir in the butter using a fork.  Once combined, squeeze the mixture into several balls (about the size of meatballs) and place in the freezer to chill for at least ten minutes.  I found that the mixture didn't form into balls as easily as I thought it would.  It was rather dry.  So I kind of forced it into neat little tight stacks within the bowl and put it in the freezer.  After 10 minutes, the mixture was sufficiently solid enough for me to later "crumble" it on top, which I did later on in the recipe. 

For the filing, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the strawberries and rhubarb and toss to evenly coat.  Wait 3 minutes magic to happen to that mixture.  Then transfer the filling into the prepared pie pan.  Get your topping from the freezer and crumble it across the top of the filling, leaving big pieces and small.  (That's why having something substantial to crumble is important). 

Bake for 40 minutes until the top is deep golden brown.  Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving. 

Heidi's recipe says that it will serve a small crowd of 8-12, but Alessandro and I ate the entire thing, not sharing a single bit of it, in 3 days. 

Heidi and the company she keeps must eat like birds. 

Make it, I think you'll love it!  

Stay tuned tomorrow for one more rhubarb recipe...also from 101 Cookbooks.

1 comment:

  1. Good call on the pine nuts. Oh so expensive, but oh, oh, oh so worth it. Love them. I'm not sure about the rhubarb. I've never actually had it, but you're right -- I've been seeing it ALL over in the markets!