Looking back, growing up in Nova Scotia meant we took for granted many things like some of the best seafood in the world, neighbours who were like family, beautiful beaches and the smell of the ocean. But now I realize we also took for granted blueberry bushes that we found everywhere- we had one in our driveway and another the end of block. And rhubarb. Rhubarb grew in lots of places around the neighbourhood. I don't remember my mom baking with it much but i do remember some wicked rhubarb whipping fights with friends!
Now I'm on the opposite coast and while we have amazing friends and still have access to some great seafood, the beach sand is rough and gritty and the ocean smell doesn't waft through our open windows. I was tempted to buy a blueberry bush the other day as I have never run into one in my neighborhood. And I have yet to see wild rhubarb here let alone have a good rhubarb fight! So when I saw rhubarb at our local vegetable store I decided to grab a few stalks and bake with them for the first time!
I have a cookbook called Nova Scotia Cooking that my mom gave to me 10 years ago. I have to be honest and say I had not made a single recipe from it...until now! Of course I modified a few things to my tastes. I also added orange blossom water...although optional I absolutely loved the orange flavor it added to the fruit base! It turned out even better than I had expected!
Cobbler has a batter topping that is spooned on top and bakes into an almost cake/muffin like consistency. This differs from crisp or crumble which has an oat, flour and butter topping without the added milk. I sprinkled turbinado sugar on top for a sweet and crunchy texture but that is totally optional too.
2 c sliced strawberries
3 c rhubarb, chopped
Juice of one lemon
2/3 c white sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c butter
1 c milk
1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
What to do
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a 9 inch square baking dish or deep dish pie pan, combine berries,rhubarb, lemon juice, orange flavour and white sugar. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until small crumb like mixture results. Stir in milk until just combined. Drop by the spoonful on top of fruit mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Great with a dollop of whopped cream or ice cream.