Fruit Crisp, Crumble or Crunch – ChatterRecipe October 2012

Individual Rhubarb Crisps © Lou Manna

For the ChatterRecipe this month I invited New York food photographer Lou Manna to not only give us one of his yummy images, but also the recipe as well. I wanted something seasonal, so we went with a great “fall” desert – Fruit CrispCrumble or Crunch. To be honest, this dessert doesn’t limit itself to just the “fall” – it can be made all year long with whatever fruit is in season. In England, where I grew up, it was called Fruit Crumble, and if you grew up here, especially down south, it would have been Fruit Cobbler, but whatever you want to call it – it is a simple baked desert with fruit on the bottom and a crunchy topping – yummy! You can basically make a Fruit Crisp with pretty much any of your favorite fruit, be it Apples or PearsPeachesor Plums, and for this particular recipe one of my own personal favorites, Rhubarb – it’s your choice! And if you prefer less Sugar, you could always substitute with some Agave, Honey or as we’ll see with this recipe Maple Syrup. In fact, this recipe for Individual Rhubarb Crisps comes to us courtesy of the Federation Of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers!

Ingredients for the Bottom:

2 lbs fresh Rhubarb (cut into 2” dice, could also substitute w/thawed frozen Rhubarb)

1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup (from Canada!)

3-4 tablespoons All-purpose Flour

Ingredients for the Topping:

1/3 cup + 1/2 cup old-fashioned Rolled Oats (not the instant variety!)

2/3 cup chopped Pecans (could substitute with another nut, such as Walnuts)

4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (cold & cut into small pieces)

1/4 cup Soft Brown Sugar (lightly packed)

2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup (from Canada!)

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Vanilla Ice Cream (optional for serving)

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the topping by first putting the 1/3 cup of the Rolled Oats into a food processor and process until finely ground. Now, if this seems like too much work for you, then I’m sure you could substitute the ground Rolled Oats portion with some All-Purpose Flour instead. Then put the Ground Oats (or Flour) in a mixing bowl along with the chopped Pecans, cold ButterBrown SugarGranulated SugarMaple SyrupCinnamon, and the remaining ½ cup of unground Rolled Oats. If you’re using an electric mixer, use the pastry blender or paddle attachment, and if you’re making it by hand, use your fingers to mix the ingredients until the Butterresembles the size of peas. Set aside. For the filling, combine the chopped Rhubarb and Maple Syrup in a large mixing bowl. Then sprinkle (sifting is even better) the Flour over the Fruit and combine. If the mixture is too runny, add a little more Flour – consistency should be thick and sticky like Elmer’s Glue! Pour your Rhubarb mixture into a 9” x 9” baking dish, or how about individual ramekins or ovenproof teacups? Top with the dried Oat mixture and bake until the Rhubarb is bubbly and the topping nicely browned – approx. 20 – 25 minutes. Serves 6.

Additional food styling notes from KD:

I love to prepare this in mismatched antique teacups and then serve them on the saucers. For an extra treat, place a maple leaf candy on each saucer. Also, I usually make a double batch of the topping, because the more the merrier for this delicious crumble! (You can tell this recipe comes from Canada, not just because of the Maple Syrup, but also because she calls it a Crumble! And one more note from me – have some Vanilla Ice Cream on hand to serve with this as well!

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