Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is one of the first things I make every year with produce from our garden. Rhubarb is hardy enough to make an early appearance before almost everything else around here, and since we’re at least another month away from local strawberries, I use frozen strawberries in this recipe. I’m always hoarding the fresh California strawberries I buy before our berry season, so there’s no way they’d ever make it into a baked dessert!
If you have a rhubarb plant at your house, you’ll know that it’s kinda like zucchini – once it gets going, there’s so much of it that it’s a total overload! I just learned that you can freeze it, so that’s going to be my main strategy in keeping up with the supply. Oh.. and this crisp, it uses a fair bit of rhubarb but namely, you’re going to want to make it over and over again. I made it twice last week alone, (we did have a little help eating it though)!
Start by washing and trimming your rhubarb. Then, slice the rhubarb in 1/4″ slices – don’t worry about being too accurate because rhubarb cooks best when it’s uneven (the smaller pieces melt into the sauce and a few of the bigger pieces keep their shape).
Mix a little of the juices from the thawed strawberries together with the tapioca, this is an important step so that you don’t end up with any lumps. Pour the strawberry mixture over the sliced rhubarb in a deep dish pie pan, an 11″x7″ rectangular pan works good as well.
For the oat crisp topping, grind the oats (make sure they’re from a gluten free factory if anyone with intolerances is eating your crisp) into a coarse flour in a food processor – this takes 2-3 minutes. Next add the liquids and pulse to for clumps. Finally, you add your reserved oats and pulse just to combine – you’ll want them to be mostly whole, (you can stir them in by hand as well so as not to over process). Sprinkle the topping over the prepared filling and bake until bubbling and delicious!
I made two different crisp toppings for this recipe, and I’m definitely undecided which one I like better. One is paleo, and I love the flavor of that crisp topping, but it’s only downside is it tends to sink a bit on the juicier crisps like this one, (this barely registers as a complaint considering how good it is, but I thought you’d like to know). The other topping is made from oats and is gluten free. This one is equally delicious, but it does a bit better keeping it’s head above the strawberry juices. It really comes down to your diet – pick one according to how you’re eating and you’re good to go!
Whichever topping I go with, I always make extra for the freezer (the oat topping processes better in the food processor with a double batch anyways). If I have a bag in the freezer of crisp topping, I’m only minutes away from making a dessert, (which comes in handy more than you’d think)! I’ve never been one of those super cool organized people, with freezer meals made and a weekly food prep regime, but I’m going to learn to be one. I did 1 week of food prep and loved it, but then promptly fell off the wagon, smack in the middle of disorganization! But… live and learn, weeks don’t always go as planned, (more like never) but I’m loving a few things that I’ve prepared and froze for when things get crazy! However, I’ve already burned through my crisp topping supply, so I’d better get busy!Print
- 1 pound rhubarb
- 8 ounces frozen strawberries, thawed and the juices saved
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (more to taste if your berries aren’t sweet)
- 1 Teaspoon orange zest
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
Gluten Free Oat Crisp Topping:
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats, be sure to use a gluten free source
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup additional rolled oats
Paleo Crisp Topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Wash and trim the rhubarb, then cut it into 1/4″ slices (don’t worry too much about accuracy different sized slices add to the texture in this case). Place the sliced rhubarb in a 9″ deep dish pie pan.
- Combine the tapioca starch with some of the thawed strawberry juices until the tapioca is completely dissolved and there aren’t any lumps. Mix in the honey and orange zest, then pour the strawberry mixture over the sliced rhubarb.
- For the Oat Crisp Topping, place the 1 1/2 cups oats into a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes or until you have a coarse flour. Melt the honey and coconut oil together over low heat until just liquified. Add the melted honey mixture to the oat flour with the cinnamon and sea salt and pulse to combine until it forms clumps. At the end, add the additional 1/2 cups oats and pulse just to combine, or mix in by hand – you want the oats to remain mostly whole. This makes enough for 2 crisps.
- Sprinkle half the topping over the fruit mixture in the pie plate, and keep the other half in a sealed container in the freezer for your next fruit crisp.
- For the Paleo Crisp Topping, combine the almond flour, chopped walnuts, orange zest, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Melt the honey and coconut oil together over low heat until just liquified. Pour the honey mixture into the bowl and stir to combine and a sort of ‘dough’ forms. The Paleo crisp doesn’t crumble so you’ll need to spoon clumps of it over the top of your prepared fruit filling. (The paleo crisp topping only makes enough for 1 crisp).
- If you’re using the oat crisp topping, bake it in the oven for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- For the paleo crisp topping you’ll need to place a foil tent over the crisp halfway through the baking time because it will over brown if it isn’t covered. Bake the paleo version for 45 minutes or until the filling thickens and is bubbling on the edges.
- Serve hot or warm with ice cream for the best flavor.
This rhubarb crisp is on the tangy side so that it pairs well with ice cream and isn’t overly sweet!