Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp with Lavender Cream

The peppery taste of Pairing rhubarb and strawberries is time-honored tradition. Lavender from the garden is a perfect way to perfume the cream that softens the tartness of the fruit crisp.

Crisp Topping

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and salt. Work in the butter with a fork (or your fingers) until the mixture is crumbly.  Add the nuts and mix to combine.

Strawberry-Rhubard Filling

1/2 pound rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, or more to taste
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and butter in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the rhubarb is just tender and still holds its shape, about 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust the sugar to suit your taste.
  3. Stir in the flour and strawberries.
  4. Spoon the filling into a baking dish and sprinkle the topping over it. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.  Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or yogurt or Lavender Cream.

Lavender Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon mild honey
1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms

  1. Bring the cream, honey and lavender to a boil, remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Whip until the cream thickens and soft peaks form. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours until ready to serve.
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