A few days ago, Deb of Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie, which put me in mind of one of my favorite summer desserts: my Dad's strawberry rhubarb crumble. I think I will always associate the month of June with the smell of a sweet and tangy strawberry rhubarb crumble baking, both the berries and rhubarb freshly harvested from my parents' garden.

    Now, a crumble is not a pie. In my opinion, crumbles are superior to pies. Pies take fruit, berries, and other watery sweet things and try to make them into something tidy. Something that can be cut into discreet slices and eaten on a plate. The way I see it, this is resisting the essential nature of summer fruit. Crumbles don't pretend to be anything more than the delicious incarnation of fruit baked with sugar and pastry. They are messy, best served with spoons and eaten in bowls. They are just the kind of simple, unpretentious dessert I can't get enough of.

*serves 3

1/2 cup strawberries, with stems removed and cut into quarters
1/4 cup rhubarb, sliced into 1/4 inch wide pieces
3 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, and sugar. Stir, and allow to sit while you make the crust.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour and sugar. Chop the butter into the mixture until it is in pea-sized chunks. Add about a tablespoon of water, just enough to hold the dough together in a cohesive ball.

Spoon the filling into three small ramekins, then press a third of the dough onto the top of each ramekin, until it covers the filling in an even layer. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden. Allow to cool before serving.