Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp for PJ

Cleveland County strawberries fresh from the field.

My friend Peggy Jean from Cleveland County came home with me after I had visited with her for a few days, and along the way we stopped and bought a basket of fresh picked strawberries---Cleveland County strawberries.  I was determined to make a strawberry/rhubarb crisp while she was here.  Harris Teeter did have fresh rhubarb---happy I didn't have to use frozen rhubarb which would have worked, but fresh is better.  I didn't have crystallized ginger so I just used a large dose of ginger spice.  This recipe is from Dorrie Greenspan. 

Strawberry/Rhubarb Double Crisp
Makes 9 servings
For the crisp mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
Tiny pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts  (I used chopped almonds.)
1/4 cup very finely chopped crystallized ginger  (I used an ample teaspoon of ginger spice.)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
(I also added a bit of fresh nutmeg and some cardamom.)
For the filling
4 to 5 medium stalks rhubarb, trimmed and peeled  (I used a pound.)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put a nonreactive 9-inch square baking pan (I like Pyrex or porcelain) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
TO MAKE THE CRISP MIX: Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, ground ginger, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and sift the ingredients through your fingers to blend them — be on the lookout for lumps in the brown sugar. Mix in the nuts and crystallized ginger, then pour over the melted butter. Using a fork, stir the ingredients until they are thoroughly moistened.
Spoon half the mixture into the pan and pat it down lightly to form a thick crust; set aside the remainder for the topping.

TO MAKE THE FILLING: Slice the rhubarb into 1/2-inch-wide pieces and scatter them over the pressed-in base. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water; set aside.
Put the strawberries, sugar and ginger in a medium saucepan and, with a fork, pastry blender or potato masher, crush the berries. Place the pan over medium heat and, stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a full boil. Pour the dissolved cornstarch into the pan and, stirring with a whisk, bring everything back to a boil. Keep cooking and stirring until the strawberry filling is thick and no longer cloudy, about 3 minutes. Pull the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla and pour the filling over the rhubarb. Scatter the remaining crisp mix over the filling, breaking it up with your fingers so you can scatter it evenly.

Slide the crisp into the oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the strawberry jam is bubbling up all around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool until only just warm or at room temperature.

SERVING: This is nice served warm or at room temperature and best with a dollop of whipped cream or with vanilla ice cream.

STORING: This is best the day it is made, but it will keep for several days, covered in the fridge.

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