Browned-Butter Rhubarb Crisp
Making a crisp is one of the best and easiest ways to highlight seasonal fruit. Crisps come together quickly with no special equipment, and they are a great way to use the odds and ends of fruit in your refrigerator. This recipe highlights one of spring’s finest flavors: rhubarb. Rhubarb is often paired with berries, but here, its tart, puckery flavor and gorgeous color shine on its own. Browned butter and almonds add toasty, nutty notes to the topping, making this an almost-effortless, high-impact dessert. You may notice that 2 tablespoons of the butter aren’t browned; they are added to the hot browned butter to cool it down a bit so that you can use it immediately. Feel free to swap an equal amount of rolled old-fashioned oats for the almonds in the topping. Serve this cozy dessert with whipped cream or ice cream if you like.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 10tablespoons/141 grams unsalted butter
- 1 ¼cups/160 grams all-purpose flour
- ½cup/100 grams light brown sugar
- ½cup/55 grams sliced almonds
- ½teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal) or ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 2pounds rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces (8 cups)
- ½cup plus 2 tablespoons/113 grams granulated sugar
- 2tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- ½teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream, to serve
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, brown the butter: Melt 8 tablespoons/113 grams of the butter in a small skillet set over medium heat. (Use a skillet with a light interior so you can easily see the milk solids change color.) Cook the butter, stirring occasionally and scraping the milk solids off the bottom and sides of the pan as needed, until the milk solids turn golden brown and smell toasty, a few minutes. Transfer the butter to a medium heatproof bowl. Cut the remaining butter into 2 pieces and add it to the bowl with the hot butter. Stir occasionally until the butter melts.
Step 2Add the flour, brown sugar, almonds and salt to the butter, and stir together until evenly combined and clumps form. You may need to use your fingers to do the last bit of mixing.
Step 3Prepare the rhubarb: In a 9-by-9-inch (or 9-inch round) baking dish, combine the rhubarb, granulated sugar, flour, vanilla paste, orange zest and a pinch of salt. Stir until combined and evenly mixed. Press the rhubarb gently into the pan, then scatter the crumble evenly over the top.
Step 4Bake until the topping is deep golden brown and the rhubarb juices are bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve warm with ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. The topping will soften as it sits.