Tuesday, June 3

Strawberry-Rhubarb Calzones

sr calzone white close again

Last summer I shared a story about a red-eye that Jeff and I took from Los Angeles to Boston. I never slept a wink on the entire 2,760 mile journey thanks to the two meatballs behind me who yapped for five hours straight about sports.

Fortunately, I was on Jet Blue, so I watched The Food Network. Nigella Lawson's smooth, calming voice at 2 am was just what I needed. Of course a batch of her fluffy ricotta hotcakes would have been nice too, but I did make them as soon as we returned home.

After Nigella, I watched Michael Chiarello’s show for the first time. He was hosting a summer outdoor party and made – are you ready for this?—strawberry-rhubarb calzones! Now you know that I love calzones and strawberries and rhubarb, so even at 2:30 am, I was pretty excited.

sr calzone whole

After making these calzones for the last two weekends (I had to double-check the measurements), I must say they are brilliant.

They're made from traditional pizza dough that is topped with an egg wash and sprinkled with crystal sugar and savory anise seeds, giving it the flavor and texture of a sweet dough. Each bite reveals a warm, gooey, irresistibly sweet-tart filling. This calzone has it all.

I have adapted Michael's recipe below. Adding cornstarch helps thicken the fruit filling and makes it easier to stuff the calzones. You will likely have some leftover filling, which is a good thing--enjoy it in smoothies, on toast, or swirled into your morning oatmeal.

sr calzone plate and fork

Strawberry-Rhubarb Calzones
Makes 4 calzones
Print recipe only here.

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
1 1/2 pounds fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds store bought pizza dough or Food Blogga's basic pizza dough (it's fool proof!)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
2 teaspoons anise seed
1 egg with a couple drops of water, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Add all filling ingredients (except strawberries) to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil. (Rhubarb releases a lot of water when it cooks, so no liquid is necessary.) Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Then add strawberries and simmer another 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, so the filling has time to thicken.

The filling should have a thick, slightly jam-like consistency. If you find it's too watery, then simply strain it before adding it to the calzones. (But don't throw that sauce away! It's delicious.) A too-wet filling will make the calzone crust soggy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

When the dough is ready, divide it in half, then cut each half into 2 pieces for a total of 4 calzones. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll one piece into a 8-10-inch oval. Sprinkle with half of the anise seed and sugar crystals and lightly roll them into the dough. Flip the dough over (sugar side down) and place about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of the strawberry rhubarb mixture a bit above the center of the oval (avoid over-stuffing the calzones, as the fruit mixture with leak out). Fold the dough to form a half-moon; seal the edges together by pressing down lightly. Then using your fingertips, fold the edge of the dough up, and pinch around the edge to create a seal. Brush the top and sides with the egg wash, sprinkle with remaining half of sugar and anise, and pierce the top a couple of times with a fork.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Other delicious strawberry-rhubarb dishes that are tempting me:

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brandin + kari said...

OH MY GOSH! I am in culinary heaven right now! Delicious. I also LOVE jet blue. Even if I am tired, I watch Food Network the whole time:)

Jeanne said...

Holy guacamole, look at those!! I made a rhubarb clafoutis and a rhubarb compote over the weekend (the latter currently frozen for use in a rhubarb fool at some later date). Every time I cook with rhubarb I ask myself why I don't use it more often - that combination of sweetness and tartness is just irresistible - just like these beautiful calzones :)

Manggy said...

Argh! You've made me hungry too! All this talk about calzones, strawberries, ricotta pancakes, and meatballs (heh) has got me salivating. I'm not supposed to eat past 8PM, Susan!!! :P
I love a lot of extra filling, so I'd be likely to overstuff my calzone. Grumbling... Stomach... Must... Sleep... To ignore it...
I think I watched Kitchen Nightmares on BBC when I rode on Jet Blue-- it was nothing interesting on FN that time. I would've stayed if it was Nigella, though :)

Laura Rebecca said...

This is BRILLIANT. I have 4 huge stalks of rhubarb and now I know how to use them!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Oooo I like it! That looks delicious

Swati said...

Hi Susan

Haven't heard from you in a long time...!!?

The calzone looks delicious with the filling oozing out temptingly :))

LyB said...

That is such a great idea! I love strawberries and rhubarb together, very classic, can't go wrong with that!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

This is gorgeous Susan...the colours are so striking I can just imagine the aroma..beautiful.

Mishmash ! said...

can u send me some? I am sitting here with my cereal bowl and looking at ur pic :(

Rachel said...

calzones look so delectable!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I've never eaten a sweet Calzone, but I know that I'd love it, especially if it's filled with rhubarb and strawberries! Yours looks so scrumptious!



Deborah said...

What a brilliant idea! They sound so delicious and look like so much fun!

Beth Morey said...

I'm not a huge rhubarb fan, but that calzone looks absolutely delicious!!

Elly said...

Wow, this sounds and looks SO GOOD. I love strawberry & rhubarb. And I love calzones. :-D

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Yikes, this sounds amazing, and I suddenly have a sharp pang of hunger! Or is that my sweet tooth acting up? There's nothing so lovely waiting for me at home ...

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

These would be amazing Susan. At my second job at the pizza place we make an apple calzone:D

Abby said...

Although I'm a bit strawberried out when it comes to baking with them - I'm NOT tired of eating them. Care to come back to N.C. and make me one of these? They look awesome!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I never would have thought of rhubarb calzones -- it's an inspired idea, and looks absolutely delicious.

Rachel Rubin said...

Wow, I never would have thought of SWEET calzones! Very cool. My creative juices are flowing . . . Might be interesting to add in some herbs. Fresh basil?

glamah16 said...

These calzones are brilliant. With food, the possibilities are endless!

Susan @ SGCC said...

What a terrific idea! They look out of this world! Like an Italian fruit pie!

Unknown said...

Putting strawberry and rhubarb in a calzone is a great idea!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I just had enough more than my recommended weekly caloric intake for dinner -- and now I'm hungry again.

This is why I love you.

Unknown said...

i think berries are taking over the earth...at least the blogsphere..hehe...i must try doing something with berries...

your calzone looks gorgeous!!

grace said...

ol' chiarello does have a few redeeming concepts, and this is one! what a delicious treat!

meanwhile, i absolutely cannot stand when i have to listen to loud-talkers babbling away on a plane. i guess you can just be glad they weren't trying to talk to you... :)

Gattina Cheung said...

It reminds me of sweet foccacia in the book Baking with Julia. Susan, I know this summer will be sweeter with your rhubarb calzones!

Anonymous said...

I love rhubarb, and i find this recipe of yours realy yummi. That pink almost red colour,always blow my mind.Is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I'm so jealous of the produce you have at your fingertips! I still haven't managed to snag any rhubard this season-- there wasn't any at the market before I left on my trip, and I haven't gotten back to see what's available since returning.

NĂºria said...

Great pictures Susan :D Really tempting!

Anonymous said...

Calzone? This could pass for dinner, right? Don't tell Alfredo, but I just love Chiarello! Have you tried his wine?

xoxox Amy

Dana said...

You had me at the title. Sounds amazing!

Lori Lynn said...

Such precious photos, love the pink checkered napkin!

Anonymous said...

Sweet calzone, how delicious! Never heard of it before. Love the filling of rhubarb and strawberry...yum!

Anonymous said...

These look completely awesome! Great photography too.

Anonymous said...

Oh Goody!

I just planted rhubarb this year so maybe by next year I can try this with homegrown.

Cris said...

That is so tempting!!! And you shaped it so nicely, it looks like an empanada! :-)

laureli said...

Oh my goodness! These look amazing! I remember eating this fabulous strawberry-rhubarb pie years ago, and have been debating how to re-enter the world of rhubarb, and this recipe looks perfect!

Chibog in Chief said...

this is definitely way out of ordinary; strawberry rhubarb calzones!! delicious!! such a brilliant idea!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

The idea of sweet calzones makes the world a better place already, Susan - these are fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Now, THAT'S interesting! I like it :)

Bistro 613 said...

Your beautiful photo has my mouth seriously watering! Defo bookmarking this for some lazy Sunday (hopefully, very soon!).

Proud Italian Cook said...

What an idea! I might replace the rhubarb though, not much of a fan.

Heather said...

this sounds delicious! i was wondering about doing something like this with peaches and thyme! i have been on such a kitchen break, but this is motivating me to hop back in :)

Cakelaw said...

Delicious - all that fruit popping out is fab.

Annie said...

Strawberry and Rhubarb always remind me of my Dad. He used to love strawberry rhubarb pie.

The calzones look really yummy. I like the idea of the anise and sugar topping!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

anticiplate-Isn't JB great?

jeanne-I know exactly what you mean. I made a couple more dishes with it too, and I'm stopping by to see yours.

manggy-Sorry. ;)

laura rebecca-Excellent!


swati-The oozing out is the best part. ;)

lyb-Classic indeed.

peter-The aroma is lovely as well.

shn-How about you come over and we'll chat while we eat our calzones? ;)

rachel-Many thanks!

rosa-Trust me, you'll love it!

deborah-They are both!

beth-You could always try another fruit.:)

elly-Then you should make these this weekend!

tw-These calzones will satisfy both!

bellini-Ooh, I should try that in the fall.

abby-I'd love too. ;)

lydia-It really is wonderful.

rachel-Oh, yes, herbs would work too.

coco-So true.



kelly-Awwww. :)

rita-That's because they rule the world ;)

grace-That's true. I hadn't thought about that.

gattina-Oh, thank you!

anonymous-The color really is lovely.

ann-Oh, good luck finding it!

nuria-Thanks so much.

amy-No, I haven't. Didn't know he made wine.

dana-I know, I had me at the title too. ;)

lori lynn-Thanks!

linda-I'll be making different ones for sure now.

matt-Thanks, I appreciate that!

coffeepot-Homegrown rhubarb? Call me if you need any help with your harvest. ;)

cris-Oh, I love empanadas too.

laureli-This is a winner.

dhanggit-Hope you try them.

patricia-They do indeed.

maryann-Wait till you taste them!

bistro 613-I hope so too!

marie-Sure, just try something else you like.

heather-Oh, that's wonderful to hear. And I love the sound of the peach calzone.

cakelaw-Tastes fab too!

annie-The anise is simply amazing with it.

Johanna GGG said...

wow - I've had a few dessert pizzas but never thought about dessert calzones - makes sense especially when you add rhubarb and strawberry

ames said...

Yay, a rhubarb recipe! I've been collecting them since I have like a million plants in my backyard and you can only make pie so many times. Thanks you!

Rosie said...

Oh my goodness Susan this is sheer heaven here on a plate!!

Rosie x

Norm Schoen said...

This dessert Calazone looks great. Since I live in Portland, Or. I will try this with some of our amazing berries.

Anonymous said...

I did something very similar for a food blog contest over at Cookthink. But I made strawberry rhubarb empanadas instead of calzones. Now I will have to try these!