Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
We are heading into the peak of harvest season in NYC, and markets are starting to brim with all kinds of colorful, perfectly imperfect, freshly picked produce. I’ve been waiting seemingly forever (aka six months) for this. And for two to three fleeting weeks out of the year, rhubarb and strawberry overlap to make all my dessert dreams come true. Separately, rhubarb and strawberry are great. But together, the combination is divinely inspired. Not exaggerating. So, it seems only logical to make this strawberry rhubarb crumble for the upcoming holiday.
This crumble is the ideal rustic dessert for a gathering. Super simple to pull together, no complicated instructions, and needs only a bit of alone time in the oven while you hang out by the pool/AC/anywhere else.
Did you know rhubarb is quite nutritious? It’s loaded with fiber, vitamin c, vitamin k, potassium and magnesium! And strawberries are a good source of vitamin c, potassium, manganese and folate. So yes, it's healthy-ish, but also this crumble is DELICIOUS. Your guests will be asking for seconds, and thirds.
Ripe strawberries and rhubarb are tossed in a bit of lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. This beautiful mess is poured into a baking dish and topped with a textured mix of oats, flour, walnuts and butter and baked until jammy inside and crispy up top. Just as good as pie, but waaaay less work. YES.
This recipe only needs a handful of ingredients and you can customize as you like! I used whole wheat pastry flour for a bit of a fiber boost. Gluten free? Try subbing out the pastry flour with almond flour. Vegan? Opt for coconut oil instead of butter. If you’re a crumble purist (not me), you can omit the walnuts. You can also cheat the calendar a bit by using frozen rhubarb and strawberries. What? True!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Recipe Notes: To avoid a soggy crisp, you can remove some of the liquid before baking if your strawberries are super juicy. The rhubarb-strawberry combo yields a lot of liquid during baking. I found this great tip from The Kitchn and drained some of the juice, leaving only a few tablespoons. You can also adjust the amount of sugar you use depending on the sweetness of your berries. I used ⅓ cup of sugar because the berries I had were very sweet. Suggestions for gluten-free and vegan swaps included below, but I haven't tested the gf options, so you may want to try out the different ratios for almond flour:oats.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (gluten-free option: almond flour)
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free: use gf certified oats)
2/3 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
5 oz unsalted butter, melted (vegan option: coconut oil)
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
3 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1” pieces
2 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs lemon juice
⅓ cup sugar (or ¼ cup honey/maple syrup) (option to use ½ cup sugar if strawberries are less sweet)
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients - flour, oats, sugar, salt, and walnuts if using. Pour in the melted butter and stir until you have big clumps. Form three to four patties with your hands and wrap each patty in plastic wrap. Free for at least 10 minutes, or until time to bake (tip: you can do this ahead of time and store in your freezer).
Lightly grease a 9x9 or 10x7 baking dish. Into the dish, toss together all the filling ingredients and gently toss to combine. If you want to, this is when you would drain out some of the liquid mentioned above in the notes.
Remove the crumble topping from the freezer. With your hands, crumble the topping into a mix of small and big pieces over the filling until evenly covered. Be careful not to press the topping into the fruit, it should just sit on top.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the filling juices are bubbling. Bubbling is key, so that the cornstarch cooks. Remove from the oven when ready, and let cool for 20 minutes uncovered before serving. Delicious served on it’s own, or top with your favorite vanilla ice cream or mascarpone.