Growing up we used to have a couple rhubarb plants outside the cabin door. I’m sure they were there every year, but I didn’t always notice. After all, there were blueberries in our yard and across the street. BLUEBERRIES! Yum! And I’m sure my childhood memories are off in their timing, but I remember always wishing for a “blueberry pie on the 4th of July” as my Dad would say was possible when he was little. But really? I don’t think we hardly ever had the luck of a pie on the 4th. I never minded the blueberry hunt, however.
But one year my mom made strawberry and rhubarb pie for our 4th of July. (Once again, no blueberries were to be found in time.) Oh, that pie was delicious. Ever since that pie, I paid attention to that funky looking rhubarb plant with new interest. That thing had potential!
While we didn’t receive the rhubarb in our CSA, it was available through the local food organization we’ve been trying out this month. (See this post for more info.) And even though I didn’t have a clue as to what I would end up doing with the bunch I ordered, I went ahead and ordered them anyway.
I have made a GF rhubarb cake, but that’s not what I was craving. I wanted more rhubarb flavor. We had strawberries on hand so I was thinking a pie like my mom made. But the strawberries were demolished by my Love and the girls with such glee that I just had to find a plan B.
So I called my mom.
I asked her for her recipe for a rhubarb crisp. She found one for rhubarb pudding that called for an egg. An egg? That did not convince me. I’m not really a “pudding” kind of gal. And then was the possible bread pudding with rhubarb. Again, not appealing. Not only do we not have GF bread on hand, but I really wanted the rhubarb to have its bold flavors be the center stage.
I read to her the section about rhubarb from the book “The Flavor Bible“. (This book lists fabulous flavor combinations/suggestions but is not a recipe book. I’ve been loving the fact that I have this on hand, especially for my CSA deliveries. It’s helping me change things up a bit from our routine cooking/baking.) When I saw ginger listed, I knew I had to try it. I love fresh ginger and we had just purchased some that is so fabulously yellow and bright flavored, I couldn’t resist.
I only wish my mom were here to reap the benefit of recipe planning over the phone with me. I think she would have enjoyed this too. We have a lot of telephone-recipe conversations. These calls happen A LOT when I am at the grocery store and saw something fabulous. I call my mom and she’d tell me what she would make/do with whatever I had in hand. My poor mom. But hey, at least she knows that we’re eating healthy! LOL
So, here’s to you, Mom. Make this o the 4th of July for the family. I’m sorry we won’t be there to see the scraggly rhubarb plant (if it still there) in person. I can’t wait for my girls to get “Up North” and play like I used to. Maybe they will take an interest in that rhubarb plant too.
I love you, mom!
GF Fresh Ginger and Rhubarb Crisp
You can open a printable copy of this recipe here.
3 cups cleaned, chopped rhubarb (halve the stalk, then 1/4 inch pieces)
1 cup sugar
1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup certified gluten free oats
1/3 cup crushed nuts (walnuts or pecans) optional
1/3 – 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (more if you want bigger chunks of topping, less if you want it more crumbly)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Clean, halve and chop your rhubarb stalks into 1/4-1/3 inch pieces. Toss into a large bowl.
- Grate some of the fresh ginger (about 1/4 of it) over the rhubarb. (I used a microplane, so I had some ginger juice dripping in too.) Finely chop the remaining ginger (into slices, then smaller pieces). Add to the rhubarb.
- Over the top of the rhubarb, pour the sugar, orange juice and sweet rice flour. Mix well.
- Pour into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish/pan.
- In the same bowl, add your room temperature butter, oats, brown sugar and salt.
- Squish together (I either use my hand or a potato masher).
- Sprinkle on top of the rhubarb.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until the crisp topping is golden brown and the crisp is bubbling nicely around the edges.
- Allow to cool a bit before enjoying (hot sugar!).
- Serve as is or with a dollop of coconut ice cream.
PS. If you are looking for a basic crisp recipe, here’s the one I shared ages ago (again, with love from my mom): GF Apple Crisp