Saturday, June 11, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Puff: A Reminder About Altering Recipes All You Want

Betty Crocker's Outdoor Cook BookIt's time for our semi-regular reminder about how most recipes are more about method and less about specific implementations. The Betty Crocker's Outdoor Cook Book has more than its fair share of brand-specific recipes, and relies a bit more on canned/tinned/processed foods than modern sensibilities tend to allow (in public, at least -- in private, even Chefly Husband eats ravioli right out of the can sometimes).

Thing is, all the glorious 1960s short cuts? Can be slowed down. And, really, if you're picnicking, sometimes it's all about reclaiming an older, slower, simpler something.

Illustration by Tom Funk.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Puff
Ideal to carry to picnic site and reheat.

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen rhubarb, thawed
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 can Betty Crocker Bisquick Refrigerated Biscuits
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 375°F (quick mod.). Mix rhubarb, strawberries, and 1/2 cup sugar in sq. pan, 9x9x1 3/4". Cook 5 min. over medium low heat. Place biscuits on top of hot fruit. Make hole in each biscuit and put a little butter and mixture of sugar and cinnamon in each hole. Bake 25 to 30 min. Cool. Cover top of pan with aluminum foil; place pan on outdoor grill. Heat until aluminum foil feels hot. Uncover and serve with cream or whipped cream, if desired. 8 to 10 servings.

Let's give a bit of thanks that the temperature is given in degrees, and not just with the guidance of "quick moderate." Even "hot" and "very hot" temperatures vary depending on who's judging. I trust that it's good to know how long one can put one's hand in an oven of a certain temperature, but as I don't cook in a wood stove, and don't intent to, I'm happy with °F.

I've not seen refrigerated Bisquick biscuits before. If you want to be a recipe purist, your best bet is going to be "can o' biscuits" -- choose your favorite brand.

If we're slowing down this recipe, though, how's about making your own biscuit dough? Use your favorite recipe that makes 8 or so big biscuits. No need to worry about cutting the dough into rounds; you can cobble the top with little bits of dough you tear off.

Did I say "cobble"? Well, sure. The recipe may say "puff," and I'm not going to say the dough won't puff, but it's a cobbler. Cobble away.

Other ways to slow this down: don't use packaged frozen fruit. Go to the store. Rhubarb's in right now, as are strawberries. Get a pound of one, and a pint or quart of the other, and slice up into nice even-ish chunks. If there's no rhubarb, you can choose some other fruit. Or, if you're not a strawberry person, how's about some nectarines, or blueberries?

I'm not opposed to frozen fruit. I have lots in my freezer right now. But it takes only a smidge longer to use in season fruit and feel a touch more connected.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, so I cooked up a version of this today! And, well.... it's a puff. No, really. The whole top of the dish is puffy dough. Looks really pretty, but doesn't look like a cobbler.

    That'll learn me!