Tuesday, June 4, 2013

More Rhubarb

I love this season when produce from gardens begins to emerge just waiting for you to take it into the kitchen and transform it into something delicious.

Can you get more delicious than strawberries and rhubarb? How about if we add cream cheese and struesel? With my kids I usually only need to mention fruit and sugar. If I say Danish, I'd better not have my hands to close.

Yesterday, I had some strawberries and rhubarb to use up and knew my kids would just love some warm Danish, so I pulled together a couple of recipes, made a few twists and came up with this. And, yes, it was delicious and I'm sure that dish is empty this morning.

Strawberry Rhubarb Struesel Danish
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen (frozen works best)
1 heaping Tbsp. cream cheese
3 Tbsp. milk, very cold
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup rhubarb, chop in 1/2 inch pieces
5 to 6 large strawberries, fancy sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. half-n-half
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup Oatmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

If you are going to bake this today, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Preparing a baking dish by lining it with parchment. I  using cooking spray in the dish to help hold the parchment, I also lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray. Set this aside.

Crust for this dish from Joy the Baker Cookbook "easy, no-roll pie crust" (p. 72). No need to mess with perfection. Assemble crust ingredients. My butter was not frozen so I cubed mine. In Joy's recipe she grates the butter making very small pieces which will make a very tender crust later. Whisk flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Add frozen butter to flour mix and use your fingers to incorporate. Whisk milk and oil together and add to flour mix all at once. Use a fork to combine. This will be really shaggy and doesn't need to for a ball or be kneaded. Pour flour mix into prepared baking dish and press evenly into the bottom of the dish and up the sides. The trick here is not to handle it too much, just quickly get it in place and chill.

If you are not going to get fancy with your strawberries, you could put both fruits in one bowl. Since I wanted my strawberries in a pattern, I put rhubarb in a measuring cup with 1/4 cup sugar, stirring to coat and set aside to macerate. I put the strawberries in a small bowl, sprinkling sugar in layers and set them aside to macerate.

Create the filling: In a medium bowl place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, half-n-half and coconut oil. Blend together with a fork until smooth and fully incorporated. Set this aside until needed.

In small bowl combine butter & coconut oil. Mix with a fork to combine, then add oatmeal, coconut, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until everything is evenly moistened.

Once you have the struesel made, it's time to assemble your Danish. Take your crust from the refrigerate and top it with your cream cheese mixture, spreading evenly side-to-side. Top with rhubarb.

Then take your strawberries and place them on top of the rhubarb, reserve the sugar syrup in the dish for the end.

You don't have to get this fancy with your fruit, I just wanted to have some fun with this. If you mixed your strawberries and rhubarb together, reserve the sugar syrup created while they macerated to drizzle on top of the struesel.

Top with struesel mix, breaking it up into small bits and spreading randomly on top of the fruit. Drizzle with the juice created by macerating fruit. I had some Demerra sugar on hand, so I sprinkled a little of that on top to.

Put Danish into 350 degree oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes. This is still going to look a little liquid when it comes out, but trust me, it does set up once cooled. The struesel topping should be a golden brown and crisp. Cool on a wire rack until well set up. Use parchment to remove from baking dish, cut and serve (with some fresh coffee!!).

I am already considering more fruit combinations to use with this. The crust is perfect. The struesel giving you crunch on the top and then the tang of rhubarb and sweetness of the filling. I am going to try to reduce some of the sugar in the next one. I did not have eggs for the filling, but used some coconut oil instead and am so happy with the results I might not go back to eggs in the filling.

You could set up crusts ahead of time if you wanted to make this for company breakfast or a brunch. The fruit and filling come together very quickly, but you could make them both ahead and keep all in the fridge until ready to bake (I'd let the filling warm up a little to make it easier to spread).

The next best thing to having fresh Danish ...

Leaving a clean kitchen behind! And, this is my after shot. I try to wash as I go to avoid having huge piles of dirty mixing bowls and forks. And, it is so nice to come home from running chores and finding a clean kitchen to make dinner in.


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