Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble is an easy-to-make fruit dessert. The sweet, and tart flavors of strawberries and rhubarb together with the crisp and buttery topping create a delicious treat. There is a wonderful contrast of taste and textures in this dessert. Serve it in individual ramekins or make a large batch for that picnic ( with Gluten-Free and Vegan options). Vegetarian, Nut-Free
Rhubarb and strawberries on the farm stands are a beautiful sight in spring through summer. I could not resist picking a batch of each. Spring and summer are meant for the outdoors. It also means casual, easy dining and recipes with fresh produce. This is one such recipe that is easy to make and can be easily scaled to feed a crowd.
What is Rhubarb
Rhubarb is said to have originated from western China and nearby regions. Often cooks refer to it as a fruit, but is the stalks of the leaves that are used in cooking – so technically it is a vegetable. The leaves of rhubarb are toxic and not for culinary use. In other words, if you find rhubarb with leaves, say grown in your backyard or fresh from the farm stand, make sure to trim it off before cooking the stems.
What is the taste of Rhubarb Like
Rhubarb is tart, quite tart in fact. But calling it a tart vegetable does not do it justice, there is so much more flavor in it. There is also the visual appeal–field-grown rhubarbs are usually very pretty with bright pink to almost red colors. The hothouse varieties are a little paler and have much less flavor. I haven’t grown rhubarbs, but have been fortunate enough to get these from local growers in the farmer’s markets.
How to Choose Rhubarb
I mentioned the color of the stalks earlier, but color by itself is not an indication of flavor. To be honest I do tend to pick the deeper colored stalks when I can. Buy them fresh in spring to early summer and yes you can chop and freeze them for year-round use. The tender stalks have much more flavor than the mature ones. So look for smaller leaves (if present) or stalks that are no more than 1 to 1 ½ inch wide.
Ingredients for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble.
As rhubarbs are tart one has to add a lot of sugar when making desserts to balance the acidity. Fortunately, it pairs well with another spring, summer favorite – strawberry. The colors match and the flavors complement each other. So here is a winning combination.
The ingredients for the fruit layer
- Rhubarb – Use tender stalks and no leaves
- Strawberries – Fresh or frozen will work here.
- Cornstarch -Is the thickener of choice as a little bit goes a long way without changing flavors.
- Sugar – You might have to adjust the sugar in the recipe depending on how tart the fruits are.
The ingredients for the crumb
- All-Purpose flour – creates more soft topping. The topping I used here is made with plain flour (AP / Maida). But you can easily make it with 50 % WW flour. For the Gluten-Free version replace with nuts/oats/ or your favorite gluten-free baking mix.
- Baking powder – To me, this is an optional ingredient. If you want the topping to be soft and light then add the baking powder. Otherwise, feel free to leave it out.
- Salt and Sugar – A pinch of salt makes the flavors come together and a little sugar keeps the dessert theme going in the crust as well.
- Butter – Butter is important for the crust and it helps the crust aerate and stay soft rather than drying out in the oven. Use dairy-free alternatives for a vegan version.
Making the Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
The recipe will give you a dessert with beautiful red filling and a crisp cookie-like topping. What is more, the recipe does not require any planning ahead of time!
There are just a few easy steps to make a crumble
- Chop and pile on the fruits in a baking dish.
- Add sugar/spices/thickener as needed.
- Mix the ingredients for the topping.
- Spread the topping on top of the fruit layer.
- Bake till the fruits are bubbly and the top is browned!
I like to serve this warm, maybe with a side of vanilla ice cream.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated and used in 3 to 4 days. I am not a fan of freezing this dessert, but the components can be frozen separately. Chop the fruits and toss with sugar and cornstarch and freeze in bags. The same goes for the crumb topping. Mix it and freeze it in airtight freezer-safe bags. When ready to bake spread the fruits in the baking dish, and dot with defrosted (makes it easy to work with) crumb mix.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
- Baking dish large enough to hold the fruits.
- 3 C Rhubarb Chopped
- 3 C Strawberries Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
- ¾ C Sugar More if the filling is too tart
- 1 Pinch Salt
For Crumb Topping
- 1 ½ C AP Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking powder
- 1/8 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 C Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- ½ C Butter (1 Stick ) Plus more for the pan.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Wash and dry the strawberries and rhubarb. Peel off the outer skin off the rhubarb stalks (leave some on if you like) and Chop into ½ inch thick pieces. Cut the strawberries into pieces of the same size.
- Mix cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Lightly grease the insides of the baking dish. Place the rhubarb and strawberries. Sprinkle the cornstarch mix over the fruits and toss to coat.
- Place 1 and ½ C flour in a blender bowl, add sugar, baking soda and salt to it. Pulse it once to combine. Add vanilla and the softened butter and pulse a few times until the mix begins to come together.
- Tip the bowl over the fruits and roughly spread the topping all over the fruits.
- Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for around 40 minutes or until the fruits turn bubbly and the crumb topping begins to brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream / whipped cream.
- US cup measurements used. 1 C = 240 ml
- For the Gluten-Free version replace with nuts/oats/ or your favorite gluten-free baking mix.
- Use dairy-free alternatives to butter for a vegan version.
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.