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Rhubarb time comes once a year!

Oh yes, spring is the time when rhubarb appears again in the supermarkets. This evening I will have guests and what I will make for dessert is a rhubarb-apple crisp. I will be using the recipe that came to me from my mother, which she got from my father's family when she was a beautiful young bride.

I am combining apples and rhubarb because my son-in-law finds pure rhubarb a bit overwhelming for his taste. He does like strawberry-rhubarb pie, though, but since I don't like to cook strawberries I am making it with apples instead.

Cobbler is wonderful with ice cream on the side, although I don't like whipped cream on it for some reason. I'll pick up some soy-based ice cream because I avoid dairy, and then I'll make the cobbler gluten-free because my daughter avoids gluten. Devising a menu for the family can be something of a minefield, let me tell you.

You want 7-8 cups of fruit for any crisp, which could include peaches and cherries as well as only apples or another single fruit that you like. The topping is pretty basic and you can memorize it so that you can fix this quickly any time that a dessert is called for in the summertime.

LEDA HODSKINS' FRUIT CRISP

From Cafe Margot

Ingredients:

4 organic cooking apples, sliced
3 cups fresh or frozen organic rhubarb, cubed (2 packages of frozen fruit)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh organic lemon juice

Combine these ingredients in a baking dish with a cover that has been prepared with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the topping by placing the following ingredients in a blender or food processor:

1 cup organic granulated sugar or Baking Splenda
3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour or gluten-free baking mix
1 stick of organic butter, cold, cut into slices

Blend the ingredients until they resemble sand. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, folding it in slightly to distribute some of it into the fruit as it cooks.

Cover and bake the crisp for 45 minutes and then check to see if it is bubbling slowly around the edges and has thickened somewhat. If the apple slices are not cooked to a soft translucent state, bake it for 15 minutes longer with the lid off so that it will crisp over the top.

Remove the crisp to the stove top and let it cool before serving warm.

If you notice that some pieces of your frozen rhubarb are a bit chunky, cut them into smaller pieces so that they will not form super-tart little bits in the crisp. That would be important to anyone who doesn't like the sweet-tart flavor of the crisp to go too far on the tart side. I wouldn't mind it myself, but people who make rhubarb pies might want to do the same thing.