This topping recipe can be used immediately, stored for up to two days in the refrigerator or frozen for a month. Just be sure to wrap it airtight in double plastic bags. It’s not necessary to thaw the topping before using. If the topping freezes into a mass, massage the bag to crumble it.
As a thickener, I prefer quick-cooking tapioca to flour or cornstarch. It thickens the juices without clouding them or thickening them too much. The juices are always clear, slightly runny and not at all “pasty.”
You don’t have to start a crisp from scratch if you use this trick: Keep a crisp topping in the freezer.
From the story: Good Cooking
Brown Sugar Crisp Topping
Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process quickly to mix, about 2 seconds. Scatter the butter and pecans over the flour. Pulse the processor on and off until the mixture is crumbly but not massing together, about 20 to 30 seconds.
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp Assembly
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Set aside a 13x9-inch baking dish.
Place the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, juice, zest, vanilla and allspice in the baking dish. Use your hands to toss until well mixed. Let it rest 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once midway. Be sure the fruit is evenly spread in the dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Place the pan on a large baking sheet or a large sheet of heavy-duty foil to catch any bubbling juices.
Bake until the top is browned and the juices are bubbling, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cool at least 1 hour before serving. (Alternately, cool completely. The crisp can be refrigerated overnight, covered airtight. To serve, let come to room temperature, uncovered. Reheat, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven until warm, about 12 minutes.) Serve warm with small scoop of ice cream.
The topping can be stored for up to 2 days in the refrigerator or frozen for a month.
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