Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

A classic strawberry rhubarb crisp with a buttery brown sugar, oat, and almond crumble topping, made even sweeter with raspberries and vanilla.

Brown Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com

Spring has sprung in northern Virginia, and oh, am I ready. Our neighborhood is brimming with dogwoods and cherry blossoms, and I’m diving right into my warm-weather berry crazy ways, making good use of some ruby red rhubarb I snagged at the market this week.

I literally cleaned out their limited supply, then asked them to please order more for me, because I’m a real treat for grocery store produce managers… 😂

However, my lack of shame when it comes to specialty seasonal ingredients paid off, with this sweet and vibrant strawberry rhubarb crisp. It combines fresh berries and tart rhubarb tossed with brown sugar and good vanilla, and tucked beneath a buttery almond-oat crumble.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com

Until moving to the south for the first time several years ago, I gave very little thought to rhubarb. Beyond my grandpa occasionally mentioning his mother making homegrown rhubarb pies for him growing up, it didn’t appear often (if at all) in our family recipe box.

Though it seemed incredibly strange and old-fashioned to me as a pie ingredient back then, once it actually became a local option, I started experimenting with it more regularly in my own baking – often paired with berries.

I also learned that rhubarb is actually a vegetable (with poisonous leaves to boot!), and have come to appreciate its sourness and fantastic color as a tart harbinger of Spring.

Brown Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com

How to choose the best rhubarb for baking:

Look for slender, deeply red rhubarb stalks. They tend to be sweetest and produce tastier desserts than their thicker, greener breatheren.

Depending on the tartness of your rhubarb – and penchant for lip-puckeringly sour things – you can adjust the ratio of berries and/or sugar to sweeten the filling as needed.

Brown Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com

What’s the difference between a crisp and crumble?

Both crisps and crumbles are super easy fruit desserts made up of two layers – sweet roasted fruit beneath a pastry crumb topping, generally made up of flour, butter, and sugar. Traditionally, crisps also include oats and sometimes nuts, which “crisp” up in the oven. However, the terms can mostly be used interchangeably.

And to be honest, I instinctively call them all crumbles. Either way, they’re nearly foolproof, easily adaptable, and all together delicious.

Especially warm from the oven, nestled under a scoop of vanilla ice cream… just sayin.’

Brown Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com
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Brown Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp via forkknifeswoon.com

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


Description

A classic strawberry rhubarb crisp with a buttery brown sugar, oat, and almond crumble topping, made even sweeter with raspberries and vanilla.


Ingredients

Scale

6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter,¹ melted
3/4 cup (300g) packed dark brown sugar, divided
11/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup rhubarb, chopped
1 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch ³
3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour ²
1/2 cup (40g) rolled oats
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Lightly butter a 9×9-inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the fruit with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice, followed by the arrowroot, until evenly coated. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oats, salt, and remaining brown sugar. Drizzle with the melted butter and stir until the mixture is crumbly and completely moistened.

Add the rhubarb mixture (and juices) to the prepared pan in an even layer, and top with the crumbs. Arrange the sliced almonds on top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden with juices bubbling up around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes for a saucier crisp or up to 45 mins for a more set filling. Either way is delish! Serve warm or at room-temperature.

Notes

¹ Make it vegan: Use a vegan butter such as Earth Balance baking sticks.

² Make it gluten free: Use an all-purpose gluten free flour blend instead of the all-purpose flour, and be sure your oats are also certified gluten free.

³ Arrowroot starch is my thickener of choice for pies and fruit fillings. It’s a natural plant-based starch that creates a smooth, shiny sauce without a noticeable taste. You can also use cornstarch or tapioca flour.

  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: strawberry rhubarb crisp, crumble, berry rhubarb, berry crisp, oat crisp, almond, gluten free, easy, classic, dessert, raspberry, vanilla, brown sugar

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6 Comments

  1. 8.22.19
    Jennifer Kennedy said:

    I plan to make this tomorrow! I love the dish you baked it in. What size pan is in the picture? It looks bigger than 9×9?

    • 8.23.19
      Laura said:

      Hi, Jennifer! It’s the 10.5×7.5” size, so pretty close to a 9×9 pan volume-wise. You can find it here: https://amzn.to/2PF8GLC

      Hope you enjoy!! 😊

  2. 6.14.19

    Absolutely wonderful presentation Laura. Thank you so much !

  3. 5.26.19

    Thank you so much for generously shared recipe. Im sure that I will be here again to read more and more.

  4. 5.6.19
    Louise said:

    I’ve never cooked, baked or done anything with rhubarb. But based on how delicious many of your other berry recipes have been, I decided to give it a try.
    My crisp was fabulous! I loved how the tartness of the rhubarb offset the sweetness of the berries.
    (I still don’t think I’d like rhubarb all on its own, but it was a wonderful complement to the berries.)
    However, I chopped the rhubarb the same size as the berries. Next time, I’ll chop the rhubarb a little smaller so it more evenly distributes the tartness, rather than getting separate blasts of tartness all at once.
    Yum!

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021, and may not be used without permission.