The abundance of both fresh rhubarb and fresh herbs available in early summer can be combined in a simple fruit-based dessert the whole family will love. This one is from The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin, who are cooking and blogging up a storm here.
Herbs pair remarkably well with fruit, adding complexity to sweetness. If you are not a rhubarb fan, you can substitute an equal amount of strawberries or other berries. In this recipe fresh herbs are best. Dried versions will leave a bitter taste.
Rhubarb Crumble with Rosemary and Thyme
3 pounds rhubarb, diced
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the rhubarb, 1/3 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a large bowl, and toss to mix. Scrape the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Combine the butter with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar, flour, rosemary, and thyme in a medium bowl. Use a fork to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course cornmeal. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the rhubarb. Bake for about 50 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbly in the center. Serve warm.
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