Strawberry-Rhubarb-Chia Crisp


I love small fresh strawberries in season, so much that I will often go out and pick them myself in large quantities, my eyes bigger than my stomach. I enjoy them fresh, plain or tossed up in a salad. After a day or so, I add them to smoothies, because they are that much more ripe, no sweetener added or necessary. As the berries mature on the counter, I start thinking of different ways to bake them before they go bad, because once bruised, they start deteriorating fast, especially strawberries.

Tarts are some of my favorite desserts. No custard necessary, just pure fruit and lots of it. Another favorite of mine as an afternoon snack or breakfast, is a delicious crisp. But every time I cook down fruit, especially berries, they bleed a lot, whether cooked in a tart or pie, or in a crisp, such as this seasonal strawberry and rhubarb version.

My trick is to toss the fruit with moisture-absorbing chia seeds and tapioca starch so the juices thicken as the dessert cools down post baking. This way you don't lose any of the juices, and nothing gets messy.

Enjoy this crisp as is or with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

FOR THE FILLING:

1-1/2 quarts small strawberries, stems removed, fruit left whole

3 to 4 medium rhubarb stalks, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

FOR THE TOPPING:

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup raw seeds or chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven for 375°F for 20 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, chia seeds and tapioca starch. Let stand for 20 minutes.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the oats, flour, sugar, seeds and nuts (if using), and stir in melted butter until fully combined.

4. In a deep baking dish (9" x 9") add the fruit and scatter the rolled oat mixture evenly on top. Bake until the fruit bubbles over and the topping is golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let fully cool prior to eating.

#fruit #dessert #seasonal #baking

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