Strawberries and rhubarb are meant for each other. When local strawberries at their sweetest are paired with perfectly tart rhubarb, the combination could not be more emblematic of the season.
Rhubarb, once considered a vegetable but now classified as a fruit, needs a counterpart, whether sugar, strawberries or an acidic ingredient such as vinegar for pickling.
Strawberries, on the other hand, require no assistance. I’d argue that no spring fruit is more ideal than a ripe, local strawberry that’s red throughout and not just around the middle.
Sure, you can purchase strawberries practically year-round but they will never be as sweet or delicious as local ones. Rhubarb is also grown in hothouses now, but the truest flavor is from the nearby farm.
The following recipe is a dessert that my daughter Grace has loved since she was little (she’s grownup now). It becomes a favorite all over again when spring produce is at its best.
You’ll love this recipe for its simplicity, a dessert that can come together at the last minute. Whip heavy cream with local honey to give it an extra richness.
Grace’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler
2 cups flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsalted butter, cubed small
1 cup cold heavy cream, plus extra for brushing
4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
2 cups rhubarb, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup sugar or more
¼ teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine dry ingredients and place in food processor with butter. Pulse mixture until pea-size balls form. Add enough heavy cream to combine until just moistened; set aside.
Toss together strawberries, rhubarb, sugar to taste, zest and cornstarch and let sit 20 minutes. Spoon mixture onto an oval gratin dish and top with half-inch pieces of dough. Brush dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake in pre-heated 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbling and crust is golden brown. Makes four to six servings.