I have an aversion to nuts in food. I think they taste like bark. I'm not sure how I would know what bark tastes like, but I'm confident that coffee and nuts are two of its primary ingredients.
And because I'm the baby in the family, and because my mom is a spectacular mother, every time she makes rhubarb cherry crisp, she only puts nuts on half of the dessert so that I don't have to pick the walnuts out.
That's the awesome kind of mom SHE is.
She also grows rhubarb. It thrives happily year after year, content to be seen alongside the likes of a lone jack-in-the-pulpit, a plant that fascinated all of us girls until someone *coughcoughDADcoughcough* ran over it with the lawn mower.
Or shall we say: It just "never grew back" one year.
(Air quotes intended.)
So in honor of my mom's delicious summer dessert, and to thank her for lugging four cups of freshly chopped rhubarb down to Missouri on her last visit, here's a recipe for Rhubarb Cherry Crisp: The Dairy Version.
(Side note: The best way to eat this crisp is hot out of the oven with a dash of milk to cover it. My husband would tell you differently, and he would know since, between the two of us, we ate half the pan when it came out of the oven. But because we are dairy farmers, and because I love milk, and because why the heck not?, just try a splash of milk on a scoop of this. You're gonna want to trust me on this one, mmmkay?)
4 c. diced fresh rhubarb
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 c. water
1 jar prepared cherry pie filling
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 c. sifted flour
1/16 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (Feel free to substitute tree bark, dirt off the ground, the exoskeletons of dead bugs, or any other crunchy but generally gross-tasting items.)
Place rhubarb in 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 baking dish. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick. Stir in pie filling and extract. Pour over rhubarb.
Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and butter; mix until crumbly. Add walnuts. IF YOU MUST. Sprinkle over fruit mixture.
Bake in moderate oven (What does that even mean? It's neither Republican nor Democrat? It's an oven made in Switzerland?).
I say, bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and rhubarb is tender.
Drown dessert in milk.
Rinse. Lather. Repeat.