It’s time to bake something. How about a fruit crisp? It’s July after all, which means the farmer’s markets and grocery stores are full of mouth-watering summer fruit. And likely your calendar is full of excuses to make dessert: bbqs, picnics, birthday parties. Or maybe you’re like me, and you never need an excuse to make dessert. It’s [insert day of week] hooray, let’s bake! The beauty of a crisp is that it is simple to make, yet terribly difficult to stop eating. Of course, we’ve already established that I have very little self-control when it comes to summer fruit.
This crisp combines sweet strawberries with tart rhubarb. Have you cooked with rhubarb? It’s a really not a fruit at all, but a vegetable (which makes this crisp arguably an acceptable choice for breakfast – it’s made with vegetables!). It is also a really fun word to say. Go ahead, give it a try. Nobody’s listening. Unless of course you are at work, in which case maybe you shouldn’t just start saying “rhuuuubaaarb” aloud. Your co-workers might become concerned.
This recipe was inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal Vegetable, Miracle. It’s a great book that will get you thinking about where your food comes from, and the large impact we have on the planet from what we choose to eat.
Buying local fruit when it’s in season is always a good idea. In addition to being better for the environment, it tastes so much better, and it’s usually cheaper. I almost tripped when I was leaving my favorite local produce market the other day and saw that organic strawberries were only $1.69/lb. Seriously, I stumbled. Then I picked up 2 lbs of strawberries and marched myself right back inside to the checkout counter by way of the vegetable section, where I found rhubarb.
Rhubarb season usually starts in early spring. But this year the rhubarb is going strong all the way into the middle of summer. Clearly, the universe wants us to enjoy rhubarb and strawberries together, otherwise they wouldn’t be ripe (and on sale!) at the same time. So don’t fight it. Go find yourself a basket or two of strawberries and a handful of rhubarb and make this super easy crisp today. It’s sweetened with honey and I even cut the sweetener in half from the original recipe, so don’t have to feel bad about
eating the whole thing that second helping.
The honey makes a lovely glaze over the strawberries and rhubarb.
Crisps are easy to make gluten-free. For this topping I used gluten-free oats, almond meal, and chopped almonds for extra crunch. Cinnamon and allspice are a delicious combo with the rhubarb.
I usually use butter, but this time I tried coconut oil. The flavor is good with coconut oil, but it makes it a little crumblier. If you want a chunkier topping, use melted butter instead. If using coconut oil, mix the topping with a pastry cutter.
Sprinkle the topping over the strawberries and rhubarb and pop it in the oven. Your whole house will smell delightful when this is baking.
This crisp is delicious served warm or cold and goes well with a dollop of plain greek yogurt.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Adapted from Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Vegetable Miracle
3 c. strawberries, halved
3.5 c. rhubarb, chopped
1/4 c. honey
Wash strawberries and cut in half lengthwise. Wash rhubarb and chop into 1 inch chunks. Mix thoroughly with honey and put in a 8×8 ungreased baking pan.
1/2 c. almond meal
1/2 c. gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 c. raw almonds, chopped
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/3 c. coconut oil (or butter)
Mix all topping ingredients except for coconut oil. Cut in coconut oil with a pastry cutter. If using butter, melt first and mix in. Sprinkle topping over berry and rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. If using coconut oil, you should cover with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes to avoid cooking the topping too fast.