Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

We take our cues from the local seasonality for this excellent dessert. Here in our corner of West Michigan we are in that special time when the rhubarb is winding down and the strawberries are just beginning. The combination of rhubarb’s tart, almost astringent, flavor with the natural sweetness of strawberries is magical. Especially when they come off the same local farm during the few weeks when both are available. So the first step of this recipe is to get yourself to a local farmers market as we did this past Wednesday. This is the Holland, Michigan farmers market, one of the largest in the area:
The inspiration for this recipe is from Ann Burrell who gave me the idea of adding balsamic vinegar for some added depth. We do not add the orange zest in order to keep things local (oranges in Michigan? I think not) but you can try it to add a little brightness.

Ingredients:
Filling
1 Qt Strawberries, sliced thickly
1 lb rhubarb, diced
1/2 C sugar
2T Balsamic Vinegar
2T Cornstarch
dash of salt

Topping
1C four
1/2 C Oatmeal
1 C Brown sugar
1 stick (8T) butter cut into small pieces
1 – 2 T cold water

Procedure:
Combine all the filling ingredients into a wide and shallow baking dish. Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor or stand mixer and pulse/mix until the butter has broken up and mixture looks crumbly. Then add water, a little at a time, until the mixture just starts to come together. Spread over filling and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until topping is slightly browned and filling is bubbly.

Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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