My boyfriend loves any fruit based dessert. Especially pie. Berries, apples or pears all baked together and sealed into a flaky crust are enough to get him to do any household chore in exchange for it. But then again, sometimes I am lazy; making good pie is a lot of effort, especially when you also make a fancy lasagne the same night. A crisp or crumble is way less work than pie, and almost equally satisfying—particularly when you top it with some vanilla ice cream.
In this apple and rhubarb crisp recipe I tried my darnedest to accomplish two things. I wanted to use locally available fruit—which is challenging when celebrating J’s birthday since he is a February baby—and I wanted to avoid having this crisp be too sweet. I find too often apple pies and crisps can be sickly sweet because of the natural sugar in the apples compounded with a heavy helping of extra sugar.
Rhubarb has such a nice tart flavour it is perfect to make this crisp not only more interesting in texture, but also in taste. The orange is used to keep the apples from browning but also to add flavour. Make sure you wash your orange thoroughly and buy organic when using citrus zest.
By the way, last year I did make J a pie for his birthday, his favorite strawberry rhubarb.
Apple and Rhubarb Crisp Recipe(serves 6-8)
Preheat oven to 400F. Combine in a bowl the apples, rhubarb and orange zest and orange juice. Sprinkle flour and cinnamon on top and combine evenly. Pour into your baking dish.
In a bowl combine flour, oatmeal, sugar and salt. Dice butter into small cubes and toss with dry mixture. Using your fingers, mix butter in evenly so if you grab a handful of the dry mix it sticks together somewhat. You shouldn’t have big chunks left. Evenly distribute this over the fruit and press gently.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until nice and brown on top and bubbling at the edges. Cool for a few minutes before serving.