I expected rhubarb to be out of season by now, but in western New York, this plant still thrives, perhaps due to the winter of the Arctic vortex and the cool spring afterwards. So I scrapped my plans for my usual strawberry-blueberry medley for July 4 and came up with a slightly different way to incorporate red, white and blue into my dessert. I used red rhubarb, blueberries, and white flour in the topping for this baked rhubarb crisp.
I adapted the recipe from a quintessentially American source, the National Grange Bicentennial Year Cookbook, published in 1976. The National Grange, founded in 1867, is also known as the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. It promotes “rural America and agriculture.” Translation: Farming. You can decide whether you think farming helps build democracy, but the recipes in the book promote basic cooking, from pot roast to biscuits. The recipe that I adapted comes from a member of the Mountain Home Grange in Princeton, Idaho. The granulated sugar makes the topping kind of gritty, but the sweetness offsets the tart rhubarb well. Substitute brown sugar if you prefer.
3 ½ cups rhubarb, cut into approximately ½ inch slices
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 cup cold butter
- Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or 8- or 9-inch pie dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the rhubarb and blueberries in the dish, tossing to combine.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Cut in the butter (I used my fingers), mixing to form pea-sized lumps.
- Spread the topping over the fruit. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbly.
- Serve with ice cream or plain yogurt.