23 May 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Poppyseed Topping

I'm a member of Eatwell Farm, an organic farm in Dixon, California with a community supported agriculture (CSA) program.  Each week we receive a box with produce grown on or around the farm.  Members are invited to events out on the farm, kept up to date on how crops are progressing, and overall, are able to foster a relationship with the people growing their food.  It's a pretty cool arrangement, and win-win for everyone.  

One of the major perks (in my opinion) of being an Eatwell member are the"Strawberry Days" they hold every spring.  Members are invited out to the farm to eat and pick strawberries from the field.  This year I headed out with two friends.  It was a particularly good year - all you can pick for only $1 a pound.  My personal haul was about 17 pounds.  (Sounds like a lot but it was only two flats.)  I could have easily picked double that but my limiting factor was time - I wasn't sure I would be able to get through 35 pounds of strawberries the following day,
On Sunday, Noah and I set out to use most of our strawberries.  We made 20 jars of jam and snacked to our heart's content.  I also made, if I dare say ever so humbly, an absolutely divine strawberry rhubarb crisp. I was inspired by the use of poppyseeds in the topping of this crumble, from 101 Cookbooks.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Poppyseed Topping
Serves 8-10

4 cups of strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups of chopped rhubarb, about 1/2-1 inch pieces
2 TBL cornstarch
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 TBL poppy seeds
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick of butter at room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Chop strawberries and rhubarb.  Mix in casserole dish (I used an 8 x 13 dish) with 1/2 cup of maple syrup and the cornstarch.
  3. Combine dry ingredients - flour, oats, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and salt - and stir well.  
  4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 stick of butter.  Mix with your hands until you have a crisp-like topping.  You don't want your mixture to look totally uniform, but you also don't want lots of loose flour and oats or huge clumps of butter.
  5. Spread topping evenly over the crumble.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked and the topping is crisp.  Let sit for about 10-15 minutes before you eat it.  This will allow the crisp to set.  Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or by itself.

If you have very ripe, sweet strawberries, you can reduce the sugar in the recipe.  My strawberries were not quite as sweet as I usually like them - partly because they had been in the refrigerator for a day.  Also, you could halve the sugar in this recipe and have a fairly healthy breakfast crisp.  

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