I'm getting a jump on spring this year with this pie cherry-rhubarb recipe. I decided to make it gluten-free, too, but you could use whole-wheat pastry flour, if you want.
I also added a touch of lavender in this recipe. Use culinary variety of lavender, such as hidcote or Betty’s Blue, a lavender cultivar developed in Oregon. The bud's don't need to be fresh. Dried lavender works in this recipe.
You can find pie cherries in the frozen fruit section at natural food stores. They probably won't be organic, but they will most likely be local if you live in the Northwest.
Rhubarb made an appearance at Rockridge Orchards at the U-District Farmers Market last week. Pricey at $7 a pound, but early fruits and vegetables command the highest price and for rhubarb lovers those baby stalks were a treat. As summer approaches, the price drops, and stalks get bigger.
My Cooking Assistant has sweet memories of cherries.
We can't wait for fresh cherries to make an appearance in the Northwest, but in the meantime the frozen cherries will do. For a dairy-free version use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and coconut sorbet. If you can't find coconut, lemon or blood orange sorbet also make great additions to this recipe.
Gluten-Free Cherry-Rhubarb Crisp with Lavender
Rhubarb and tart pie cherries pair up in this amazing gluten-free crisp that carries hints of lavender, a mint family relative and an herb that demands a light touch. Some recipes specify 1 or 2 tablespoons in the mix but be aware that when you cook with lavender, it’s best to use less because too much can make the crisp taste soapy.
4 cups pitted sour pie cherries
1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons crushed dried lavender buds
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter or vegan baking sticks
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine pitted cherries, rhubarb, sugar, lavender and lemon zest in a 2-quart casserole dish. Stir gently and set aside.
Combine dry topping ingredients: gluten-free flour, oats, brown sugar and soda in a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix well. Cut in butter or baking sticks until mixture looks like small particles. Add more flour, if necessary. Crumble the topping over the filling.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the filling bubbles. The liquid is thinner when hot and as the crisp cools, the filling thickens. Serve with coconut sorbet or vanilla ice cream.