Well, well, well. Look what the RSS dragged in. I’m sure the one person who still follows this blog is thrilled. (Hi, Mom.)
Alas. It’s been, what, 18 months? As in, I could have possibly birthed two children over the course of this interlude. Don’t worry; I haven’t.
I have, however, quit my job, moved to London, moved back to DC, and started and finished the first draft of a novel. So…yeah. I’ve been busy.
But I’m back! And I’m going to get better about this blogging thing. At least I’ll try. Hard. Even if some of my blogs don’t provide recipes and are more discussions of food-related issues. Would you mind? Because, frankly, at this point there are so many recipe blogs out there that I hardly stand out from the crowd. And when I go back and read some of my earlier entries on my blog, I blush. Some of the writing is so…I don’t know…nerdy and stiff. Also, bad. And the photos? Let’s be honest. I’m no Smitten Kitchen.
So, Mom (and whoever randomly forgot to delete me from their Google Reader), let me know what you think.
In the meantime, here’s a recipe to make up for my prolonged absence. Consider it a peace offering. It’s a rhubarb crisp that Roger — the crisp/crumble aficionado — deemed “perfect.” Perfect? Wow.
But I might have to agree with him. It’s pretty awesome. You can barely taste the rose flower water, but combined with the vanilla bean, it adds a floral note to the tangy rhubarb. And I’ve already told you how much I love crisps, crumbles and the like. So just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have a perfect springtime dessert. It may not make up for an 18-month hiatus…but hey, I’m trying.
Rose Rhubarb Crisp
Adapted from recipes by Claudia Fleming and Kate Zuckerman
2lbs rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon rose water (available at Whole Foods and specialty stores)
1/2 a vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, chilled
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch. Place the rose water in a small bowl and scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean. Pour the rose/vanilla mixture into the rhubarb, stir and let macerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Mix the flour, sugars and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut the chilled butter into 1/4-inch cubes and then dump the butter into the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or a fork (you could also use a food processor, if you like) until the butter is the size of large peas (do not let the dough come together in a ball). Set aside.
Dump the rhubarb mixture into a 2.5-quart dish (such as an 8 x 12-inch pan) and sprinkle the crisp topping over the rhubarb. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the topping has browned and the fruit is bubbling underneath. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Yield: 8-10 servings