Remember back in elementary school, when you did question and answer games or writing exercises that went something like this: (1) what’s your favorite movie? (2) what’s your favorite color? (3) what’s your favorite toy?
When it came to the question, “what’s your favorite dessert” I always answered as follows: rhubarb crisp. Not chocolate chip cookies, not ice cream, not brownies. No, I filled out “rhubarb crisp.” Did anyone even know what that was? Maybe not. Was this a little weird? Probably yes.
I was always a bit morbidly intrigued by the fact that rhubarb greens were poisonous, especially when we saw the huge, heavy leaves on my grandmother’s rhubarb plants. How was it possible that the stalks could so delicious when the leaves must be so carefully avoided? Exactly how dangerous were they? If I touched them would something happen? Would it seep into my skin, turning my fingers black? What if you smell it? Would even the tiniest little nibble do you in? So one day, being the daredevil I am…
Just kidding. I never even considered it.
All this admittedly odd curiosity aside, I loved it whenever my mom made this for us. So easy to make, and so much fun to help with, as your hands and fingers end up dusted with the buttery cinnamon-y sugary crisp topping, which you had no choice but to lick off. (What kid doesn’t like an excuse to eat a bit of almost straight sugar, right?)
I love this warm out of the oven. The tart, jammy rhubarb bubbles up under the sweet crisp topping: it’s still my favorite!
- 1 1/2 pounds of rhubarb (about 4 c chopped)
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 3/4 c flour
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/3 c butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Chop the rhubarb into approximately 1/2 inch pieces. Put rhubarb into a square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Stir together the salt, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut up butter and cut it into the sugar mix using a fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. You can also rub the butter into the mixture. Pour the mixture over the rhubarb and gently spread it to cover. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the rhubarb is soft, jammy, and bubbly, about 45 minutes.