Just call me Goldilocks. You wouldn’t be the first.
Whenever I go to bake something I first need to make the decision on how much I want to make. You can see from my assortment of baking dishes that this isn’t always a straightforward choice. You make too much and you get tired of eating (no matter how tasty it is) after a few days. You make too little and the last bite comes all too quickly.
I made this crisp last Saturday evening, hours before leaving to go to a scientific conference (which is where I am currently…more on that later), so I went with the smallest of my choices – a perfectly-proportioned 1 1/2 cups. A small dessert is better than no dessert at all in my book.
And speaking of books, this recipe came from a new book that I am enamored with. Beautiful photography and whimsical writing – and foods categorized by color. Utterly delightful! I am a little jealous I didn’t think of it myself. With the intersection of rhubarb and cherry season I knew that I wanted to give this recipe a go.
I had been waiting for an opportunity to make Sweet Basil Ice Cream and this seemed like the perfect pairing. Sweet, herbal and bright green in striking contrast to the deep reds of the rhubarb and cherries. None of it is overly sweet and all the flavors really come through brilliantly.Cherry-Rhubarb Mini Crisp adjusted from Ripe, by Cheryl Sternman Rule ********** 1 cup diced rhubarb 1/2 cup cherries, halved (pitted and de-stemmed) 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 2 1/2 tablespoons (33 grams) brown sugar 2 tablespoons (15 grams) flour 2 1/2 tablespoons (15 grams) oats 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon pinch of salt 3 teaspoons pine nuts **********
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Toss together the rhubarb, cherries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Pour into a small (1 1/2 cup) baking dish. In a food processor, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and salt. Pulse ~35 times until dough starts to come together. Stir in pine nuts and crumble over top of rhubarb and cherries. Bake for 35 minutes in top third of oven. Let rest 10 minutes before eating.Sweet Basil Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebowitz makes ~1 pint ********** 1/2 cup (12.5 grams) packed basil leaves 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 cup milk pinch of salt 3 egg yolks **********
In a small food processor, grind the basil leaves with the sugar and 1/2 cup milk until the leaves are finely ground. Pour half the mixture into a large batter bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Take the other half and put in a medium saucepan, add remaining milk, cream and salt. Heat until steam starts to rise from the dairy. Whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape egg yolks and milk back into saucepan and heat until the mixture thickens. Pour the custard through the strainer and whisk into the basil-sugar-milk mixtures. Chill thoroughly. Freeze in your ice cream maker.