Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp with Pork Fat Crumble

Matt Jennings

Townsman, Boston, MA

“Who can resist a still-warm fruit crisp? The topping on this one may throw you for a curve: it’s a combination of butter and leaf lard. Yes! Rendered pork fat makes the topping especially lacy and delicate, with a hint of meaty savor. You’ll note that I give a range for the sugar measurement; fruit can vary in sweetness, so add the minimum amount of sugar and taste the fruit, then add more as needed. This is a flexible recipe—you can substitute an equal amount of another type of fruit; peaches are an especially good stand-in if you’re making this in late summer.” —Matt Jennings in his 2018 Beard Award–nominated Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots.


Oat Topping:

  • Unsalted butter, for greasing 
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 ounces leaf lard (rendered pork fat; or substitute unsalted butter), melted 


  • 3 pounds rhubarb, preferably thinner, deep red stalks, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved, or quartered if large
  • 2 to 3 cups granulated sugar (see headnote)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 

Lemon–Mascarpone Cream:

  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (keep separate)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. 

Make the oat topping: in a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and lard and stir with a fork until the mixture clumps, breaking up any clumps larger than 1/2 inch. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Make the filling: in a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, 2 cups granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, orange juice, and ginger. Mix well to combine and let the mixture macerate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Taste the fruit and add 1/2 to 1 cup additional sugar, depending on the tartness of the fruit. Transfer the fruit to the prepared baking dish and set the dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Use your fingers to crumble the oat topping over the fruit, blanketing it in a thick layer.

Bake until the oat topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling at the edges, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the topping is browning too quickly, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Remove the crisp from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.

While the crisp is cooling, make the lemon–mascarpone cream: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), combine the mascarpone, lemon zest, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the lemon juice and mix until creamy and well combined.

To serve: spoon the crisp into bowls, top with a spoonful of the mascarpone, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Excerpted from Homegrown by Matt Jennings (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Huge Galdones. 


8 to 10 servings