Rhubarb, Apple and Rolled Oats Crisp

Rhubarb season is finally here, and I was lucky enough to find some beautiful, fresh stalks to put into good use.
One of my favorite ways of using these tasty stalks is to prepare a crisp with it. All that is needed is to mix the sliced stalks with sugar and some cornstarch, top it with a coarse mixture of butter, sugar and flour, and bake it in the oven until it is bubbly and crisp, and its wonderful aroma fills the kitchen.
Here I’ve added apples to the rhubarb and rolled oats to the topping layer. I also experimented with Jaggery, a special type of sugar (see notes), which added wonderful aroma and unique flavor to the crisp. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* I found Jaggery mentioned in blogs about Indian cuisines. This unique sugar is made by evaporating unprocessed sugar cane juice. It used to be sold in blocks that were then grated before using, but now it is also available in the form of a coarse powder, which makes it easier to use. Jaggery is not as sweet as regular sugar, which I actually prefer.  If you can’t find it, brown sugar can be used instead. Just remember to adjust the level of sweetness according to your liking.

Makes: 16
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
For the fruit layer:
7 cups of thinly sliced rhubarb (from about 8-10 stalks)
4 cup medium sliced peeled crispy apples (from about 3 large)
1 cup Jaggery sugar (see notes)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup cornstarch
For the topping:
¾ cup Jaggery sugar (see notes)
¾ cup flour
¾ cup rolled oats
1 stick (115 grams) butter, cold, cut into cubes
¼ tsp salt
For serving:
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 355F (180C). Line an 8”X11” (20cmX28cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. The fruit layer: in a large bowl, mix the sliced rhubarb and apples with the jiggery sugar, cinnamon, ginger powder, cornstarch and salt. Transfer the mixture into the lined pan.

3. The topping: place the Jaggery sugar, flour, rolled oats, butter and salt in a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Process briefly to a coarse mixture and sprinkle evenly over the fruit layer.

4. Bake for 1 hour, or until the fruits are soft, and the topping is golden and crisp.
5. Place on a rack to cool to warm temperature. Serve as is, or with a scoop of ice cream.

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Cheese cakes are on top of my favorite cakes, but as they take a while to bake and set, and as they are quite heavy and sweet, I end up rarely making them.
Yet, the crave for the wonderful tangy flavor of baked fresh cheese is always there, so I came up with a fairly quick “fix”, in the form of the following cake. Continue reading