Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp

Delicious sweet and melting summer fruit under a crunchy topping and served with ice cream. Summer doesn’t get much better than that! From my English homeland we would often enjoy Rhubarb Crumble, as there was always an abundance of this fruit growing in our garden. When I lived there, I loved growing rhubarb as it involved no special skill and once it took hold, you’d better be prepared to eat a lot of it. In fact we grew ours behind a shed, by the fence and out of view, because it’s giant leaves quickly overtook any flower bed. Here in Texas, it’s non existent in our garden (too hot most of the time) but thankfully is easier to find at the grocery store, albeit quite pricey since it’s transported from out of state. So I very unashamedly buy it ready cut up and frozen and it works very well for us. I feel it’s a justified shortcut given that I’ve made my own topping and home made ice cream. Rhubarb and strawberry are a lovely combination as the sweetness of the berry helps soften up the tanginess of rhubarb without needing to add lashings of sugar.

What the difference between Crumbles and Crisps? They are very similar, with the name “Crumble” originating from England! They both contain fresh fruit with a streusel-like topping that gets baked until the fruit is cooked. The original difference between the two lay in the streusel topping: Crisps would contain oats and Crumbles would not. In an actual Crisp, such as Apple Crisp or Peach Crisp, the oats in the topping crisp up as it bakes, hence the name. As time has gone by, the lines have blurred and the names Crumble and Crisp are now used interchangeably.

I always prepare a double batch of the Crisp topping and keep the extra in a plastic bag in the freezer. Whenever you’ve the good fortune of some lovely fruit, you can always whip up a Crisp in no time at all. It stores up to 3 months in the freezer, but I find it’s gone before then. This recipe uses gluten free flour and oats but if that’s not a concern for you, substitute for regular flour and oats.

plated crisp with ice cream

overhead cooked crisps

Makes one 10 x 15 x 2 inch Crisp or 7-8 smaller individual Crisps

Oven 350 degrees F.

INGREDIENTS FOR CRISP TOPPING

1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour
1 cup Quick Cooking Gluten Free Oats
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Light Brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 pound cold unsalted Butter, diced
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon (optional – but especially good with apples)

METHOD FOR CRISP TOPPING

1) Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly.
2) Sprinkle evening on top of prepared fruit and bake.

uncooked crisp overhead

uncooked crisp

INGREDIENTS FOR FRUIT FILLING

2 X 12oz bags of frozen Rhubarb
4 cups fresh Strawberries cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Orange, zested (or whole Oange if small)
6 tablespoons Brown Sugar (or more to taste)
2-3 tablespoons Gluten Free Flour

METHOD FOR FRUIT FILLING

HAVE READY: Oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Baking dish or individual dishes buttered on inside.

1) Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Taste the rhubarb to see if more sugar is needed – this will depend on your taste and how sweet you like it. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon flour to thicken.
2) Pour prepared fruit into buttered baking dish, or divide equally between individual dishes or ramekins. Fill dishes at least halfway as the fruit will cook down and reduce in volume as it bakes. Sprinkle with a good layer of Crisp mixture to cover the fruit (at least 3/4 inch)
3) Place baking dishes onto a large baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the Crisp topping melted and cooked. If the top looks pale, preheat the broiler to low heat and place the Crisp under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until light golden brown.
4) Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes as the fruit will be very hot. Top Crisps with ice cream or whipped cream when serving.

overhead cooked crisps

plated crisp with ice cream

fruit crumbles in ramekins

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