As soon as I see tiny, juicy Jersey strawberries at the farmer's markets in May I want to put them on everything. I ensure there's plenty of yogurt and granola around for topping with the bright red juicy buds in the mornings, and reach for a few after dinner with another glass of white wine. But after a week or two I start getting the itch to bake them up. Strawberries typically have too much juice for muffins, unlike blueberries, so I don't go there, but the streusel bar (which I made last week again with rhubarb and strawberries-so good!) and crisp tart are good friends to them. Meet the ginger-kissed sweet I'll be making all summer, and when the blueberries do come around, they'll probably have their moment in it too.
It's not too different from those streusel bars, but with a hefty dose of oats, and baked into a round pan, it offers more possibilities. Thinly wedged for a group dessert, with dollop of creme fraiche on the side, for example, a slice alongside afternoon tea...a slice with a breakfast espresso? Check. Lily popularized this versatile recipe a few years ago with a blueberry-cinnamon version. I made it that way last year but I really liked this strawberry-rhubarb filling spiced with ginger, too.
You'll start with a crumble dough you make with your hands. No need to wait for totally soft butter either, as chances are it's already hot in the kitchen. Then you'll pat about 2/3 of it into the pan, layer in your fruit mixture and top with more crumbs. Bake, cool, eat. I love rustic things like this made mostly with your hands. I assembled the entire thing in the midst of a wedding-planning conversation from across the room, careful not to confuse 95 grams with 95 people.
Gingered Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Tart
Notes: This works great in an 8 inch tart pan with a removable bottom and makes nice presentation. I adapted it to fit into that size. You could also do this in a 8 inch square pan, I imagine and slice into bars or use smaller tart pans and fill less bake accordingly.
1 1/2 cups hulled, sliced strawberries and small diced rhubarb
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
3/4 cup/95 grams all purpose flour
1/2 cup/50 grams old fashioned oats
6 Tablespoons/72 grams sugar
Zest of half a lemon
4 Tablespoons/55 grams butter, softened, cut in pieces
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt ground ginger
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
Oven to 400
In a medium bowl, mix lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar until no lumps remain. Add ginger and fruit and toss to coat. Set aside while you make the crust.
Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, ginger and zest in a large bowl. Add butter and use your fingers to work it in until coarse crumbs form and the mixture holds together when pressed. Remove a heaped 1/3 cup crumbs and set aside.
Pour remaining crumbs into a lightly buttered 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press evenly into the pan. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the berry mix over the dough, leaving any juices behind. Evenly sprinkle remaining crumbs over.
Bake about 45-50 minutes, or even 55 but watch it, until the filling is bubbling, the crust lightly browned. Let cool completely before slicing into wedges.
Storage: I stored on the counter in the coolest part of the house, wrapped in plastic on the tart pan bottom and loosely covered with parchment, for a few days.